PHEBA -- The weather was crisp and so were the Hebron Lady Eagles, who swept West Memphis Christian in a doubleheader to clinch the Class 2A District 1 championship last Monday.
Hebron pulled away in the late innings of Game 1 to take a 7-0 victory before bringing the offense in a 19-2 win called after an inning and a half.
It was the first division championship for the Lady Eagles.
"I am so proud of them,” coach Randy Haynes said. “It’s stunning the transformation they have made since June. They bought into what we’re doing, and we’ve tried a lot of things.
“I am stunned (at how much they’ve improved.).”
Hebron didn’t need their bats, but rather won on superb base running, taking advantage of walks and errors from West Memphis.
“Running bases is their best thing. They love to move, that’s the thing they’re best at. They’ve taken a lot of cues from Hannah Lowe. They are starting just to read the minds (of their opponents.) They’re getting better and better of reading the body language of the girls. They’re getting better faster than you’d believe. We’re peaking at the right time.”
Haynes credited his players with making changes to suit their opponents.
“We’re mainly just making adjustments,” Haynes said. “We’re seeing such a wide range of pitching that it’s unbelievable. We may practice slow-pitch next week.”
“It takes us a little while to get cranked up, but I’ll tell you we run bases better than anybody,” he added. “We put some pressure on folks running the bases
Haynes was quick to place the credit on his players after the win.
“All I did was give them the tools and they’ve made the transformation. They got in there, dug in there and worked tirelessly.”
Aubrey Eaton struck out 13 of 23 batters, helped her cause with a two-run triple and added a single in the second game. She’s getting hot at a good time for the Lady Eagles.
“Aubrey has put the team on her shoulders all year. The biggest hit she gave up all night was my fault,” Haynes quipped.
“She’s getting very dominating. In the Delta series, she struck out 27 out of 60 (16 innings).”
The team racked up 15 hits in the first game. Lindsey Daniels, Caitlyn Hill, Reese Williams and Abby Staten all had three hits each.
Lowe and Hill each had a single.
It was senior night for Hebron during the win. Haynes praised them after the game.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of them,” he said.