Box, Williams power Lady Bulldogs on road

SHERIDAN — White Hall’s Rachel Box belted a three-run home run and Lindsey Williams turned in a gem on the mound as the Lady Bulldogs beat Sheridan 5-1 in nonconference softball action Thursday afternoon.

Williams allowed only two hits in a complete game effort in the circle, a single to Hunter Clark in the first inning and a leadoff double to Taylor Norman in the seventh. Norman would score the only run for the Lady Yellowjackets on a sacrifice fly by Olivia Reed.

Williams fanned five and issued only two walks as the hard-throwing right-hander kept Sheridan off balance from start to finish.

“She did a great job on the mound,” Box said of Williams’ performance. “She kept the ball away from them. She did her job and the defense did their job. That’s what you have to do to win games.”

Meanwhile, Sheridan’s Sidney Bonner was equally effective through the first four frames. Sheridan (2-1) played sloppy defense in the opening frame, allowing two White Hall runs without the benefit of a hit. Abby Weaver and Kayla Reap both reached on errors to start the game. Sydnee Clark plated Weaver on an error and Box chased Reap home with a fielder’s choice.

Otherwise, Bonner matched Williams pitch for pitch, allowing no hits and walking one through four. It wasn’t until the fifth that White Hall figured Bonner out.

Jessica Ashcraft started the inning with a single but was thrown out after rounding the bag. Weaver and Reap followed with back-to-back singles before Bonner coaxed Clark to fly out to centerfield for the second out, setting the stage for Box’s bomb and a 5-0 White Hall advantage.

“That was pretty exciting,” Box said. “That got us energized and ready to finish the game. These are the kind of games we need to play to get ready for state. We need to win these games and it feels good, especially against Sheridan. They are kind of our rivals.”

The five-run padding eased the tension for Williams and the Lady Bulldogs (2-1) for the remainder of the contest.

“That gave us that extra cushion we needed,” Williams said. “I felt like if I let them on base after that we still had that cushion so it really helped.”

Sheridan coach Eddie Woodall said the Jackets failed to match the previous two games of error-free ball.

“White Hall played well and we didn’t,” Woodall said. “We had played error free for two games. I had made the comment earlier that I wondered what would happen if something were to go wrong. We just bobbled three plays and made a bonehead play by not throwing the ball where it needed to go one time. We were down 2-0 and they hadn’t hit the ball out of the infield.”

White Hall coach Terri Smith said the early-season win against a quality opponent was a boost for the Lady Bulldogs.

“Beating Sheridan at the beginning of the season is good for us,” Smith said. “They always have a good program. We lost to them twice last year. (Williams) was very effective tonight. That was her best performance of the year. She was a lot calmer today. And the home run was a confidence boost. Anytime you can get the lead it makes you feel better because it can go away very quickly.”