Lady Billies advance to 4A State Championship Tournament


For the first time in eight seasons, the Monticello Lady Billies have punched their ticket to the 4A State Championship Softball Tournament to begin on Thursday in Lonoke.

The Lady Billies entered the 4A South Regional tournament in DeWitt needing to win their opening contest against the fourth seed out of the 4A-7 Conference, the Magnolia Lady Panthers, in order to qualify for the 4A State Tournament. 

As the number one seed in the 4A-8, the Lady Billies would send Alaina Lyle to the circle in their opening game in the 4A South Regional Tournament. 

Magnolia would be the visiting team on the scoreboard and would lead off the top of the first inning with a single with the runner advancing to third after a sacrifice bunt in the next at bat.

A second Magnolia single would give the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead before Monticello ended the inning with two consecutive outs.

Kate Morgan would lead off for the Lady Billies with a single in the bottom of the first followed by a ground out by Addi Frazer.

With Morgan on second base, Lyle would give the Lady Billies the lead on a two-run home run to put Monticello up 2-1.

Lyle would start the top of the second with two strikeouts and would get the third batter of the inning to fly out to Ashlynn Snow in right field to end the inning. 

After a scoreless second inning for the Lady Billies, Magnolia would come back in the top of the third to tie the contest, 2-2, after a walk and a pair of singles.

Monticello would retake the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. 

Madeline Stanley would lead off with a double followed by a single by Meygan Bivens to score Stanley to give the Lady Billies a 3-2 lead. 

Lyle would give the Lady Billies an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a lead off home run, her second of the contest. 

Magnolia cut the lead to a run in the top of the sixth inning for a 4-3 Monticello lead.

Bivens would lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, reaching base on an error. After a sacrifice bunt by Snow, Kate Morgan would reach first on a single with Bivens holding at second. 

Addi Frazer would connect on a three-run home run in the next at bat to increase the Lady Billie lead to 7-3.

The Lady Panthers would intentionally walk Lyle, but Audrey Howard would follow Lyle with a double to bring Lyle home.

Kiley Lane reached on an error  with Anna Morgan reaching on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. 

Stanley would ground out but would get the final RBI of the contest to give the Lady Billies a 9-3 victory, qualifying the Lady Billies for their first 4A State Tournament appearance since 2015.

Monticello recorded nine hits in the contest with Kate Morgan going 2 for 4 with two runs, Meygan Bivens was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Lyle was 2 for 3 with two runs, 3 RBI, and two home runs, Addi Frazer was 1 for 4 with 3 RBI, a run, and a home run, Aubrey Howard was 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Madeline Stanley was 1 for 4 with a run, a double and an RBI. 

Lyle pitched the complete game allowing three runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out nine.

Returning on Friday, May 5, to face the second seed from the 4A-7, the Ashdown Lady Panthers, who defeated the Hamburg Lady Lions 11-1 to advance to the semi-final round.

Lyle would get the call to pitch for the Lady Billies and would strikeout the lead off batter before allowing a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly that scored two runs before recording the third out. Ashdown would hold the Lady Billies scoreless in the bottom half of  the inning.

The score would remain 2-0 until the top of the third inning when Ashdown would increase their lead to 6-0 after scoring four runs in the inning.

Ashdown added their seventh run in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run and added another run in the top of the sixth to take an 8-0 lead.

Trailing 8-0, Kiley Lane led off the bottom of the seventh inning by being hit by a pitch. 

Anna Morgan walked and Lane was replaced on the base by Kaylie Jester as the pinch runner. 

Madeline Stanley would load the bases after reaching first on an error followed by Meygan Bivens reaching on an error to score Jester to cut the lead to 8-1.

A third consecutive error would allow Ashlynn Snow to reach first, scoring Anna Morgan.

Kate Morgan connected for a single that scored Bivens and Stanley to cut the lead to 8-4.

After the first out of the inning, Lyle connected for a single to score Snow to make the score 8-5, but Ashdown would get the next two outs to halt the Lady Billies comeback.

Lyle would pitch three innings allowing six runs on five hits with three runs being earned, walking one and striking out three. 

Addi Frazer relieved Lyle, pitching four innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out five.

Monticello recorded four hits in the contest with Kate Morgan, Addi Frazer, Alaina Lyle, and Ashlynn Snow recording the Lady Billie hits.

With the loss, the Lady Billies would return on Saturday for the game to decide third and fourth place, facing the Nashville Lady Scrappers.

Nashville was the third seed out of the 4A-7 and faced Stuttgart in the opening round, defeating the Lady Ricebirds 4-1 to advance to the semi-final round against the number one seed from the 4A-7, the Malvern Lady Leopards.

Malvern defeated Nashville 4-3 to get Nashville to the third/fourth place contest. 

Addi Frazer would get the start in the circle for the Lady Billies in Saturday’s contest and after getting the lead off batter to ground out, Nashville would get a double and two singles to take a 2-0 lead.

Monticello would have one baserunner in the bottom of the first inning on a Lyle single. 

Monticello would get on the board in the bottom of the third inning.

Meygan Bivens  would lead off with a walk followed by two outs and a single by Frazer that scored Bivens to cut the lead to 2-1.

Nashville added a run in the top of the seventh inning after a lead off double and a ground out scored one run for a 3-1 lead.

Nashville would sit the Lady Billies down in order to end the contest to place Monticello as the fourth seed from the 4A South with Nashville being the third seed.

Addi Frazer pitched the complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits, stikingout one and walking one.

Monticello recorded five hits in the contest with Frazer leading the Lady Billies with two hits and an RBI. Lyle, Aubrey Howard, and Bivens each recorded one hit.

Ashdown would go on to become the first seed from the 4A South Regional after defeating Malvern 8-7 in the 4A Regional Championship game.

The Lady Billies will travel to Lonoke for the 4A State Championship Tournament and will play Farmington on Thursday.

Farmington entered the 4A North Regional as the third seed from the 4A-1 defeating Mena in the opening round. 

Farmington would lose in the semi-final contest to eventual 4A North Champion Gravette and would defeat Morrilton 17-1 to take the third seed from the Regional.

Farmington and Monticello will be the second contest of the opening round of the tournament with the first pitch scheduled for 12:30 pm.