The Dierks Outlaws and Lady Outlaws will pack up their equipment bags and head to the 1A state tournaments this week at Pine Bluff and Woodlawn.
The Outlaws rolled through the regional tournament, hosted by Dierks, to get the top slot in 1A-4, picking up wins over Mulberry/Pleasant View (10-0), Scranton (10-0) and 11-5 over the Kirby Trojans in the finals.
The Outlaws will open state tournament play Thursday, May 11 against Omaha at Woodlawn High School. State 1A games will also be played at historic Taylor Field in Pine Bluff.
The Lady Outlaws opened regional play with a bang Friday, dropping Mulberry/Pleasant View 20-0 in a three-inning game. The Dierks girls faltered, 5-1, in the next game against eventual tournament champions, Scranton, and were forced to the consolation bracket where they took third place with a 7-0 win over Acorn.
The Lady Outlaws will play today (Wednesday, May 10) against Bradford at 2:30 on Field 4 at the Pine Bluff Regional Park.
The Outlaws applied the 10-run rule to Mulberry/Pleasant View Friday afternoon to open tournament play in a game that saw Coach Stephen Sprick’s boys slowly chip away at their opponent one run at a time. Dierks held a 4-0 lead after four innings before slamming the door in the sixth inning with six runs.
The Outlaws collected eight hits while Grant Strasner limited the Mulberry/PV batters to just one hit. Strasner recorded 11 strikeouts and two walks. The Dierks hits were spread out among Jacob Sharp (1), Lane Woodruff (2), Blayn Turner (2), Caleb Adams (1), Colton Strode (1) and Cale Adams (1).
The Outlaws returned to the field Saturday and shut out Scranton, 10-0.
Zane Cox got the start on the mound, allowing two hits, getting six strikeouts and walking two batters in four innings. Woodruff came on for one inning of relief, giving up one hit and recording one strikeout.
Dierks’ batters collected eight hits with Woodruff, Jarett Fox and Cale Adams getting two hits a piece. Cox and Sharp each had one hit. Woodruff and Fox both drove in three runs.
Monday’s final game with the Trojans saw Kirby jump out to a short-lived 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Outlaws responded with five runs in the second and four in the third. Kirby posted three runs in the fifth to cut the Outlaws lead to 10-5. Dierks was able to plate one more run in the fifth and hold off a Kirby charge in the final two innings to get the championship trophy.
Dierks had seven hits and Kirby posted just three. The Outlaw hitters were Cox, Sharp, Woodruff, Turner, Caleb Adams, Strode and Cale Adams.
The Outlaws threw four pitchers at the Trojans, starting with Woodruff, who went four innings and gave up two runs and two hits and struck out four and walked five. Sharp made a brief appearance on the mound and gave up three runs and issued two free passes. Strasner returned to the mound for two innings and kept the Kirby batters quiet with three strikeouts and one walk. Turner closed out the game and allowed one hit and struck out one.
The Lady Outlaws’ slugfest in the opening round began early and resulted in a 4-0 lead after one inning. After that, it only got better for Coach Brad Bray and his team as the home team plated 16 runs in the second inning to shut the game down after three innings.
Dierks collected eight hits with 17 RBIs. Delaney Eckert led the charge with two hits good for five RBIs followed by Emily Whisenhunt and Kynsie Hill each with one hit and four RBIs. Halle Mounts added to the RBI total with a home run good for two runs. Other Lady Outlaws hitters included Alexis Simmons (1), Blair Garner (1), Jaycee Runnels (1), and Kynsie Hill (1).
Simmons worked the circle for Dierks and threw no-hit ball for 2.5 innings and recorded five strikeouts.
Dierks’ offense cooled off in the 5-1 second-round loss to Scranton. The team collected four hits while the eventual champs racked up 10. Lady Outlaw hitters included Mounts (1), Kesterson (2) and Eckert (1).
Simmons again worked the mound for Dierks and gave up 10 hits and five runs and struck out four and walked none.
Simmons rebounded in the consolation game and threw a shutout against Acorn. She allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one in the 7-0 win.
The Lady Outlaw bats also rebounded and Dierks ended the game with 12 hits. Simmons and Eckert added to the hit total with three each followed by Mounts with two and one each from Madison Burgess, Garner, Whisenhunt and Runnels. Simmons also collected the team’s only two RBIs.