SMACKOVER - Rison's Kristen Hurst tossed a one-hit shutout Monday as the defending 2A state champion Lady Wildcats blanked Smackover 3-0 in the Lady Bucks' season opener.
Hurst struck out nine and did not walk a batter. Smackover's Karli Goocher spoiled the no-hit bid with a lead-off line drive single in the seventh inning.
"She pitched well," said Smackover coach Dennis Steele. "This was a good team. They won a state championship and you can see why with the girl they've got pitching."
The game was scoreless through six before Rison pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh, helped by a pair of walks and two Smackover errors. The Lady Wildcats sent nine batters to the plate in the inning against junior Abbi Crawford.
Crawford finished with four strikeouts and surrendered four hits and seven walks.
"Abbi pitched a really good game. I think this was her first, legit varsity start," said Steele. "I thought she pitched well. She gave us six strong innings, kept us in it. Nothing-nothing, we've got an opportunity. We just have to regroup.
"We've got to be careful of the bottom of the order. We had three walks and they scored a run off the walks. But, she pitched well. I was pleased with her."
The Lady Bucks had a double play in the sixth. After a lead-off single by Cassie Dees, Mikayla Young singled to right. Smackover's Lydia Pullin threw too late to Goocher at first. Goocher threw to third to get Dees out. Sabrina Estridge fired the ball to second, where the Lady Bucks retired Young in a run down. She was tagged out by Reagan Richardson.
"That was a good play. We worked on rundowns last week," said Steele. "It was a positive that we played good defense."
Fordyce has canceled the softball game today. The Lady Bugs are competing in the 3A State Basketball Tournament.