May tabbed to lead Heber Springs baseball

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Monterio May never envisioned becoming a head baseball coach this year and prepared for another season as director of player development at the University of Central Arkansas.

But that quickly changed with the resignation of Scott Bramlett as head baseball coach at Heber Springs High School in September.

May learned from a former teammate about the job opening at Heber Springs, submitted an application and the rest is now history. He took the reins of the Panther baseball program Monday and began preparation for the new season.

Monterio May

“I applied for the job and received an email within 24 hours asking me to come and interview,” May said. “I jumped out of my seat and was excited to get an interview. I met with the school administrators and school district staff, and they treated me like a member of the family. I’m grateful to the community, school district and (Superintendent) Dr. (Andy) Ashley for the opportunity.”

May began learning the game at an early age and took advantage of opportunities to play at different levels.

“I played baseball since the age of five,” he said. “I try to use the competitive edge to my advantage. One of my biggest accomplishments was being an alternate on the USA Baseball 16-and-under team.”

May started his collegiate baseball career at Shelton County Community College (Alabama). He transferred to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (Alabama) because of an injury and the school was closer to his home. May finished his playing career at Central Baptist College in Conway.

“After earning an associate’s degree, I made the best decision in my life in coming to Arkansas,” May said. “I played two years (at CBC) for coach Aaron Brister and was part of the team when it won a conference championship.”

After playing one year in an independent league, May accepted an opportunity to work for UCA and head coach Allen Gum.

“I worked at UCA for the last three years,” May said. “I was prepared to stay at UCA and wait to see what might open in a year. This job turned into the right fit for me.”

May is completing the final requirements for a master’s degree in educational and athletic administration. He then plans to start work on a doctorate’s degree.

May comes from a family of educators. A sister is a teacher and a brother-in-law is a strength and conditioning coach. May said that taught him the importance of education.

“Education can never be taken away from you,” May said. “My ultimate goal is to make an impact on people around me. Coaching and teaching allow me to do that. I want to make a positive impact.”

May met with players last week and held a parents’ meeting Thursday night at the Panther Den. He said everything has been positive and ready to start preseason workouts.

“I noticed that we have players with a lot of athleticism,” he said. “We had around 27 players at the first meeting, and I know of four basketball players who will join us when that season is completed.”

May said everything is in place for success.

“My philosophy is to finish strong,” he said. “We will learn how to compete at a high level. We have amazing facilities and a community that supports the program 100 percent. We will find ways to get the job done and build a foundation for the future of the program.”

Heber Springs host Pottsville in 4A-4 play

March 8, 2020

Heber Springs returns to 4A-4 action on Monday when the Panthers host Pottsville at 4:30 p.m. at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed back because Pottsville was in the 4A state basketball tournament.

Heber Springs opened conference play on March 3 with a 13-3 setback at Dover (1-2 overall, 1-1 in 4A-4).

The Panthers and Pirates were tied at 3-all heading into the bottom of the fourth before Dover plated 10 unanswered and run-ruled Heber Springs.

The Panthers struck first in the top of the first as Alec Kelley walked and would later score on a double steal.

Dover will would tie things up in the bottom of the frame with a triple and a single off Heber Springs starter Garrett Hudspeth.

After a quiet second for the Panthers, a lead-off walk and back-t0-back singles would give Dover a 3-1 advantage heading into the third.

The score would remain that way until the fourth when Matthew Cook lead off by reaching on an error and scoring on an Hudspeth double. Fate Berry followed with a single driving Hudspeth for the Panthers final runs of the afternoon.

In the bottom of the fourth Dover would plate four runs, after a lead-off walk, a double and two errors would help push across four Pirate runs.

In the fifth, two more Panther errors and four doubles helped Dover end the contest with six runs in the inning.

Heber Springs had three hits on the night with Berry going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Hudspeth struck out five but walked four in getting the loss in three plus innings of work.

Dover used five Panther errors and 12 hits to plate five earned runs.

HEBER SPRINGS AT DOVER
March 3
Heber Springs    100 20 -  3  3  5
Dover            120 46 - 13 12  1
Note: 1-out when winning run scored
WP: Dawson Branch
LP: Garrett Hudspeth (1-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Fate Berry 2-for-2 with an RBI; Garrett Hudspeth, RBI double with run scored; Alec Kelley, run scored
DOVER HIGHLIGHTS: Dawson Branch 2-for-3, double, triple, RBI and two runs scored; Brock Payne, 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, and a run scored; Josh Besterfeldt, two runs scored; Kaleb Williams 1-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs; Lance Millsaps 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored; Jeremy Robinson, RBI double, run scored; Jayce Sharp 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored; and Jon Greathouse 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
PITCHING: Heber Springs, Hudsepth 3 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, seven runs, three earned runs, five strikeouts, four walks; Alec Kelley 2/3 IP, five hits, six runs, two earned runs, one strikeout; Matthew Cook, faced one batter and gave up a hit; Dover, Dawson Branch 5 innings pitched, three hits, three runs, two earned runs, seven strikeouts and one walk.
HEBER SPRINGS 2020 BASEBALL
COACH SCOTT BRAMLETT
OVERALL RECORD: 1-1
4A-4 RECORD: 0-1
March 2   Heber Springs 7, West Side Greers Ferry 5
March 3   Dover 13, Heber Springs 3 *
March 9   Pottsville *                 4:30 p.m.
March 10  at Ozark *                   4:30 p.m.
March 13  Subiaco Academy *            4:30 p.m.
March 16  at Harding Academy           4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 5 p.m.
March 19  at Pangburn Tournament
March 20  at Clarksville *             4 p.m.
March 21  at Pangburn Tournament 
March 31  Morrilton *                  4 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              4:30 p.m.
April 9   Ozark *                      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              5 p.m.
April 17  at Subiaco  Academy *        4:30 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               4 p.m.
April 23  at Clinton                   6 p.m.
April 24  Clarksville *                4 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 Tournament at Dover

(* - Denotes 4A-4 Conference contest)
(Note: Games and times are subject to change)

Panther softball team heads to UCA for conference opener

Heber Springs’ Hope Turney touches home plate in softball action last week in Heber Springs. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

March 8, 2020

The Heber Springs softball opens conference play on Monday with a doubleheader against Ozark.

The pair of 4A-4 contests will be played at neutral site on the University of Central campus in Conway.

Heber Springs (2-1) is coming off a 14-0 setback at Sylvan Hills on Thursday. The Panthers will be looking for their first conference win since 2018 and their first since the 4A-4 was created before the start of the 2019 season.

Heber Springs will be on the road Thursday and Friday before return to the Heber Springs sports complex on Saturday for their annual tournament.

HEBER SPRINGS 2020 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
COACH DUSTY WEST
RECORD: 2-0
4A-4 RECORD: 0-0
March 2   Heber Springs 16, Maumelle 9
March 3   Heber Springs 13, White County Central 2
March 5   Sylvan Hills 14, Heber Springs 0
March 9   vs. Ozark at UCA *           V DH      4:30 p.m.
March 12  at Riverview                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 13  at Conway St. Joseph         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 14  Heber Springs Tournament     V
March 16  at Dover *                   V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 19  Clinton                      V/JV      5 p.m.
March 30  at Clarksville *             V/JV      4 p.m.
March 31  Morrilton *                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 6   Jacksonville                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 13  Cedar Ridge                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 16  at Calico Rock               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 20  at Cave City                 V/JV      4 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 23  at Mayflower                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 District Tournament at Dover

(* - Indicates 4A-4 Conference Contest)
(Note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather)
(Note: The Heber Springs/Pottsville contest for March 6 will be re-scheduled due to a basketball conflict)

Bradshaw gets win as Harding wins ninth-in-a-row

March 6, 2020

By SCOTT GOODE/HARDING SPORTS INFORMATION

SEARCY – Harding baseball scored in five consecutive innings Friday and defeated Southeastern Oklahoma 7-2 in game one of its three-game Great American Conference series at Jerry Moore Field.

The win was Harding’s ninth straight overall and fifth straight in the GAC and moved the Bisons to 16-5 overall and 7-3 in conference games. The Bisons moved into second place in the GAC standings, one game back of leader Oklahoma Baptist. Harding and Southeastern Oklahoma (10-10, 3-7) conclude the series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

Trailing 1-0 entering in the bottom of the fourth, Harding tied the game on a Connor Kelly single that scored Miles Humphreys.

Harding took the lead for good in the fifth on a Michael Chrisman RBI single that plated Brendan Perrett.

The Bisons took a 4-1 lead with two more in the sixth. The runs came on a Cody Smith sacrifice fly and Chris Witzke’s single that scored Kelly.

Kelly had another RBI single in the seventh to give the Bisons a 5-2 lead. In the eighth, Harding tacked on two more on three consecutive doubles from Owen Martin, Perrett and Chrisman.

Harding starter Andrew Bradshaw (4-2) allowed single runs in the second and sixth innings but worked out of trouble both times, stranding the bases loaded on both occasions.

Bradshaw struck out six and got eight groundball outs, throwing 90 pitches over six innings.

Ryder Yakel came on in the seventh and retired nine straight hitters, six by strikeout. He threw 27 of his 37 pitches for strikes and had 10 swings and misses.

Southeastern starter Jacob Potter (3-3), the reigning GAC Pitcher of the Week, lasted six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) with five strikeouts and took the loss.

Kelly led Harding, going 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. He leads the team with eight multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games. Chrisman and Perrett had two hits each.

Harding had 12 hits, the sixth time in the last seven games the Bisons had 10 or more.

‘Super Tuesday’ for Heber Springs softball

Heber Springs pitcher Nicole Rackley delivers a pitch against White County Central on Monday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

March 3, 2020

By PHILIP SEATON

Nicole Rackley went two-for-three at the plate and struck out in nine in relief as Heber Springs defeated White County Central, 13-2, on Tuesday.

Heber Springs improved to 2-0 on the young season and won back-t0-back games for the first time since the 2017 season.

The Panthers trailed 2-0 after the Bears plated two runs off Heber Springs starter Madison Clemons before the freshman gave way to Rackley in the second inning.

Clemons struggled in her second start of the season walking four, allowing one hit while striking out two.

“She is going to be in the circle a majority of the year,” Heber Springs coach Dusty West. “She is just getting these first-game jitters out of the way. She’s going to be fine. She has all of the tools that we need out there.”

Clemons also struggled on Monday in the Panthers opener at Maumelle as the Hornets plated eight runs before also giving way to Rackley.

The senior came on in relief on Monday against the Hornets and scattered one run and eight strikeouts over six innings of work as Heber Springs plated five in the fifth, four in the sixth and six in the seventh to claim the win, 16-9.

“I’ve been really happy with Nicole Rackley coming in a as a senior,” West said. “Kinda playing a back-up role in the pitching realm and doing great.

“The last two nights been really proud of Nicole. She’s come in in relief and given up only one run in two games. She’s been a monster on the mound for us.”

Rackley struck out the side in the top of the second before Heber Springs gave her the lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Ninth-grader Hope Turney led off the inning by reaching on a walk, taking second on a sacrifice bunt by Adyson Curtis and touching home on an RBI double down the right-field line by freshman Anna Carroll.

Heber Springs catcher Gentry Hamilton. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Carroll would touch home after a wild pitch while freshman Jaylea Hooten would score the third run on the inning later after following Carroll with a walk, taking third on the passed ball that scored the Panthers second run and scoring on an RBI ground out off the bat of Gentry Hamilton.

” We put the ball in play and we have good speed this year, and hopefully we’ll use that a lot and small-ball people,” West said. “I am just real proud. First two games of the year, facing live pitching for the first time and to be able to put the bat on ball in play and hit it hard at places, that’s what you are excited about.”

Heber Springs would plate five more in the third. Zoe Monroe and Turney led off the inning with back-to-back singles and both would later score on a single by Carroll.

Carroll and Clemons would touch on a triple by Rackley while Hamilton would drive in Rackley to make it 8-2 Heber Springs after three innings.

“The last two nights we scored a lot of runs, 16 last night and 13 tonight,” West said. “Our bats one through nine have been really solid.”

The Panthers would add five more runs in the fourth as an RBI triple by Curtis and a bases-loaded single by Rackley would plate two more.

“With have only three upperclassman (Rackley, Monroe and Hamilton), a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so it’s always good to start 2-0,” West said. “It’s a good confidence booster for us to get us ready for a conference doubleheader on Monday.

“The three seniors that have been with me for four years, and we are trying to send them out on a good note. They were with me as freshman and we made the state quarterfinals. Our goal is to get them back to the postseason and get these young girls some experiences.”

Carroll paced the Panthers at the plate by going three-for-three with a double, three runs scored and four RBIs.

Heber Springs travels to Sherwood on Thursday to face Sylvan Hills.

“We have got a tough challenge on Thursday,” West said. “We’ll get a quick measuring stick on where we are at.”

The Panthers will open conference Monday against Ozark with a doubleheader in Conway on the University of Central Arkansas campus.

“Getting to play at UCA on the turf in front of college coaches, that is something neat for a girls to do and something we haven’t done in a while,” West said. “We are excited about it.”

Heber Springs was scheduled to face Pottsville on Friday, but because of the state basketball tournament that conference contest will be rescheduled for a later date. Instead, West was able to schedule a junior varsity doubleheader with Batesville at the Heber Springs softball complex. Both games will be five innings.

WHITE COUNTY CENTRAL AT HEBER SPRINGS
March 3
White County Central (0-1)  200 00 -  2  2  0
Heber Springs (2-0)         035 5x - 13 11  0
WP - Nicole Rackley (2-0)
LP - Micah Todd (0-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Madison Clemons 1-for-1, stolen base, two walks, HBP, two runs scored; Nicole Rackley 2-for-3, triple, run scored, stolen base, two RBIs and HBP; Gentry Hamilton 1-for-4 with an RBI; Zoe Monroe 1-for-2 two runs scored, HBP and stolen base; Brooklyn Barnes, HBP; Hope Turney 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored; Adyson Curtis 1-for-2, triple RBI, run scored and stolen base; Anna Carroll 3-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, three runs scored and four RBIs; Jaylea Hooten 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored; and Jade Adamson, HBP.
WHITE COUNTY CENTRAL HIGHLIGHTS: Gracie Rogers, walk, stolen base and run scored; Kalista Altom, walk and run scored; Micah Todd, two walks; Jaci Beals 1-for-3 with an RBI; Taryn Blanton, walk; Kendall Talieje 1-for-2, Maliah Litaker, walk.

HEBER SPRINGS AT MAUMELLE
March 2
Heber Springs (1-0)   010 054 6 - 16
Maumelle (0-1)        801 000 0 -  9
WP - Nicole Rackley (1-0)
LP - Morgan Krebs (0-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Madison Clemons, three runs scored; Nicole Rackley, two runs scored; Gentry Hamilton, three runs scored; Brooklyn Barnes, two runs scored; Zoe Monroe, two runs scored; Adyson Curtis, one run; and Jaylea Hooten, three runs scored.
HEBER SPRINGS 2020 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
COACH DUSTY WEST
RECORD: 2-0
4A-4 RECORD: 0-0
March 2   Heber Springs 16, Maumelle 9
March 3   Heber Springs 13, White County Central 2
March 5   at Sylvan Hills              V/JV      5 p.m.
March 6   Batesville                   JV-DH     4:30 p.m.
March 9   vs. Ozark at UCA *           V DH      4:30 p.m.
March 12  at Riverview                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 13  at Conway St. Joseph         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 14  Heber Springs Tournament     V
March 16  at Dover *                   V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 19  Clinton                      V/JV      5 p.m.
March 30  at Clarksville *             V/JV      4 p.m.
March 31  Morrilton *                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 6   Jacksonville                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 13  Cedar Ridge                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 16  at Calico Rock               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 20  at Cave City                 V/JV      4 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 23  at Mayflower                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 District Tournament at Dover

(* - Indicates 4A-4 Conference Contest)
(Note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather)
(Note: The Heber Springs/Pottsville contest for March 6 will be re-scheduled due to a basketball conflict)

Panthers top West Side in baseball opener

Heber Springs first baseman Cole Peyton steps off the bag after an out during Monday’s game against West Side. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE McCARTY

March 2, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs withstood a mid-game surge by the West Side Greers Ferry and claimed a 7-5 win in the baseball season opener at the Heber Springs Sports Complex Monday.

The Panthers built a 4-0 lead before the Eagles tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning.

Heber Springs took the lead with one run in the bottom of the inning and added two runs in the sixth. West Side scored one run in the seventh.

Heber Springs used five pitchers with Austin Winchester earning the win in relief. Garrett Hudspeth struck out the final two batters in the seventh for the save.

“We were nervous last week if we could play this game because of predicted weather problems,” Heber Springs coach Scott Bramlett said. “It was good to get the win. One thing the guys did well was to play hard throughout the game.”

Bramlett liked how the defense performed.

“We turned two double plays,” he said. “When West Side scored four runs in the fourth, it came from walking batters. We must do a better job of throwing strikes and also hit the ball better.”

Heber Springs was held to four hits, all singles.

The Panthers were scheduled to play at Dover in the 4-4A Conference opener today and intended to use more than one pitcher against the Eagles, who advanced to the Class 1A state tournament semifinals last season.

“We were trying to keep within 30 pitches, so they can pitch at Dover,” Bramlett said. “I was impressed with Winchester, who shut them down in the sixth inning. We came back with our best pitcher (Hudspeth), who struck out the final two batters in the seventh.”

Heber Springs took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Hudspeth hit a single, advanced on an infield out and scored on Matthew Cook’s hit to right field.

The Panthers added three runs in the second. Cole Payton started the inning by reaching on an error, Adam Martin was hit by a pitch and Alec Kelley walked to load the bases. Cole Payton scored on a passed ball and then Hudspeth hit a 2-run single, increasing the lead to 4-0.

West Side tied the game in the fourth inning. Ashton Carr walked and scored on Ashton Klepko’s double. Kiepko, who advanced to third on an overthrow, crossed the plate on an error. Jared Cothren and Travis Gentry each hit RBI singles to tie the game.

Heber Springs regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Fate Berry walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Levy Phillips, who scored from third base on an infield out for the 5-4 lead.

The Panthers added two runs in the sixth when Kelley and Hudspeth each scored on passed balls.

“We drew walks and did a good job of running the bases,” Bramlett said. “We did a good job of putting the ball in play.”

West Side scored one run in the seventh as Gentry came home on a bases-loaded walk to Gage Fetterman.

Bramlett expects another close game at Dover today.

“Dover will be ready for us,” he said. “We need to bring our best and get a conference win.”

West Side returns to action on Thursday when it travels to Calico Rock for a nonconference contest.

LINESCORE/HIGHLIGHTS
West Side Greers Ferry 000 400 1 - 5 5 2
Heber Springs          130 102 x - 7 4 2
WEST SIDE GREERS FERRY OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Travis Gentry 2 singles, 1 RBI, 3 stolen bases; Ashton Klepko double, 1 RBI; Jared Cothren single, 1 RBI; Dax Hipp single; Gage Fetterman 1 RBI; Brenton Hipp 1 stolen base.
HEBER SPRINGS OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Garrett Hudspeth 2 singles, 2 RBIs, 1 stolen base; Matthew Cook single, 2 RBIs; Gage Buford single; Alec Kelley 1 stolen base; Cole Payton 1 stolen base.
WEST SIDE PITCHING: Jared Cothren 0 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run in .1 inning; Travis Gentry 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 1 strikeout, 2 walk in .2 inning; Colby Stout (0-1) 0 hits, 1 run, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Dax Hipp 0 hits, 0 runs in .2 inning; Asa Carr 0 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1 inning; Brenton Knapp 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts in 1 inning.
HEBER SPRINGS PITCHING: Gage Buford 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 strikeout, 3 walks in 2 innings; Alec Kelley 1 hit, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 strikeout, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Mathew Cook 2 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks in 1.2 inning; Austin Winchester (1-0) 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Garrett Hudspeth (1 save) 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts in .2 inning.  

Schedule: Heber Springs Softball

HEBER SPRINGS 2020 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
COACH: Dusty West

March 2   at Maumelle                  V/JV      5 p.m.
March 3   White County Central         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 5   at Sylvan Hills              V/JV      5 p.m.
March 6   Pottsville *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 9   Ozark *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 12  at Riverview                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 13  at Conway St. Joseph         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 14  Heber Springs Tournament     V
March 16  at Dover *                   V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 19  Clinton                      V/JV      5 p.m.
March 30  at Clarksville *             V/JV      4 p.m.
March 31  Morrilton *                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 6   Jacksonville                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 13  Cedar Ridge                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 16  at Calico Rock               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 20  at Cave City                 V/JV      4 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 23  at Mayflower                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 District Tournament at Dover

(* - Indicates 4A-4 Conference Contest)
(Note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather)

Bradshaw earns conference honors for Saturday win

February 10, 2020

By GAC SPORTS INFORMATION

RUSSELLVILLE – The Great American Conference announced the league’s Baseball honors for the second week of the 2020 season. Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Colton Buckner earned the Player award while Harding’s Andrew Bradshaw and Southern Arkansas’ Zach Smith shared the Pitching accolade.

GAC BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Colton Buckner, Southeastern Oklahoma State, LF/1B, Sr., Garland, Texas

Buckner reached base 15 times in his 16 trips to the plate the Savage Storm’s four-game series with Northeastern State. He registered three multi-hit games against the RiverHawks and walked eight times. He hit a home run in the opener and doubled in his only official at bat in game three. He scored three runs and drove in three.

Andrew Bradshaw

GAC BASEBALL CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Andrew Bradshaw, Harding, SP, Jr., Heber Springs

Bradshaw picked up his first win with the Bisons after he recorded a three-hit shutout against Southwest Baptist on Saturday. He struck out four and walked just one. He required only 98 pitches in the 4-0 victory and allowed only one Bearcat to advance into scoring position.

GAC BASEBALL CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Zach Smith, Southern Arkansas, SP, Sr., Katy, Texas

Smith worked 8.0 scoreless innings against Missouri Western to capture his second win in as many starts. He held the Griffons the four hits, three singles. He stuck out seven against three walks. In two starts, spanning 15.0 innings, he has registered 17 strikeouts and surrendered only six hits. The Muleriders have started 8-0 for the first time since 1986.

OTHERS NOMINATED

Kaimana Bartolome, INF (Oklahoma Baptist), David Butterfield, 3B (Harding), Audy Clary, INF (Arkansas-Monticello), Bryce Donovan, C (Northwestern Oklahoma State), Clay Lockett, INF (Southern Nazarene), Brett McGee, C (Southern Arkansas), Stormy Taylor, OF (Arkansas Tech)

Colby Carlson, SP (Northwestern Oklahoma State), Ryan Collins, SP (East Central), Livan Cordova, SP (Arkansas-Monticello), Jake Lipetzky, SP (Oklahoma Baptist), Jacob Potter, SP (Southeastern Oklahoma State)

Miller joins staff at Ecclesia College

August 20, 2019

By ECCLESIA SPORTS INFORMATION

SPRINGDALE – The Ecclesia Royals Baseball program is excited to announce the hiring of JR Miller. Miller will be joining the Royals as an Assistant Coach this season. He will be working with the pitchers and bringing a strong knowledge of the game and pitching to the team.

JR comes to us form Searcy where he grew up playing ball. Following a successful high school career at Harding Academy, Miller went to Northwest Mississippi Community College. He would end up spending three years there after an injury caused him to miss a season. In his 3 seasons at NMCC Miller compiled an 8-3 record with a 2.23 ERA in 65.1 innings pitched. JR would earn Second Team All MACJC after Tommy John Surgery while posting a 1.25 ERA and a 3-2 record out of the bullpen.

Following his success at Northwest Mississippi, JR went to NCAA Division II Union University in Tennessee. At Union Miller had a dominant Junior season. He earned 2nd Team All GSC with a 9-1 record and a 3.40 ERA over 82 innings pitched. Unfortunately JR would deal with some more arm injuries his senior year after starting the season 2-1 over 24.1 innings.

Following a strong collegiate playing career, JR wants to continue sharing his love for the game of baseball with the next generation of players, so he has gotten into coaching. This summer he coached the Coastal Stars, a Showcase Baseball Program based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Miller will be beginning his college coaching career at Ecclesia and we are thrilled to have him join the staff.

“JR fits exactly what we were looking for out of a pitching coach. He is a dynamic personality with a lot of knowledge, and a hunger for personal, and spiritual growth. I am looking forward to working with him and seeing how he leaves positive marks on these young men and this program”, said Coach McCue.

When asked about being the newest member of the EC coaching staff Coach Miller said, “This is an opportunity that I’ve been looking forward to since I was a little kid. The game has introduced me to many great baseball minds and even better people. It’s my hope that, yes I can improve these students as athletes and as baseball players, but more-so that I can be a positive influence and teach them how to be better men”. JR and his wife Morgan are both very excited about this new adventure in their lives.

Deifel announces addition of Assistant Coach Annie Smith

August 30, 2019

By JESSICA ROBERSON/Arkansas Sports Information

FAYETTEVILLE – Head softball coach Courtney Deifel continues to improve the Razorback staff with the recent addition of Annie Smith as a volunteer assistant. Smith comes to Fayetteville after stints at Auburn, LSU, Georgia Southern, Mississippi State and Missouri.

“I am thrilled to add Annie Smith to our staff,” Deifel said. “Not only is she a great coach, she is also an exceptional person. Annie is very well versed in what it takes to be successful in the SEC and her impact will be immediate.”

Since she began her career, Smith has coached eight All-Americans, 56 All-Conference selections and 41 All-Region honorees. Her squads have been equally as impressive in the classroom, garnering 123 NFCA Academic Scholar-Athlete honors.

Smith also boasts professional experience, as she was an assistant coach for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in 2017.

Before rejoining the SEC, Smith served as the head coach at Georgia Southern, where she complied 176 wins and reached the NCAA Tournament twice. Smith and the Eagles captured the Southern Conference title in 2012 and in 2014. The Eagles also won the conference tournament in 2012 and 2013. For her efforts, Smith was honored as the conference’s coach of the year in 2012 and 2014.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to join Coach Deifel and her staff at the University of Arkansas,” said Smith. “I am looking forward to calling Fayetteville home, continuing to coach in the SEC, while being closer to my parents. I cannot wait to get started. Wooo Pig!”

Smith currently stands as the quickest coach in Georgia Southern history to 100 wins, while her teams rewrote the record books for home runs, doubles and fielding percentage. She was instrumental in the development of the three-time conference pitcher of the year and the two-time freshman of the year in the league.

Before Georgia Southern, she spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Mississippi State before being promoted to associate head coach following the 2007 season. The Manhattan, Kan. native helped the Bulldogs to 295 victories and six NCAA Regional appearances. She worked with three USA Softball National Team members and the back-to-back SEC Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004.

Smith received her bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Grinnell College where she was a captain on the softball team. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Missouri in health and exercise science with an emphasis in sports psychology.

For all Razorback softball news and information, go to ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Hogs on Twitter at @RazorbackSB, on Facebook at Razorback Softball and on Instagram at @Razorback_SB. Fans can also follow head coach Courtney Deifel on twitter at @CoachDeifel.