CABOT -- Three meetings between Bentonville and Bentonville West weren't enough this spring.
The fourth one will have a state championship on the line.
Bentonville (29-3) moved to the Class 7A softball title game first as the Lady Tigers claimed a 5-1 victory over Cabot. Bentonville West (25-6) followed to earn its first final in any sport by holding on for a 3-2 victory over Bryant.
Bentonville defeated Bentonville West the first two times this season, but the Lady Wolverines were victorious 10-5 in their last meeting Tuesday.
Morgan Nelson's line-drive single drove in Keelah Griffith in the fourth inning with the go-ahead run, and McKenzie Vaughan followed with a two-run home run as Bentonville handled Cabot at Panther Field.
It's the Lady Tigers' fourth consecutive trip to the title game and moves them one step closer to their third consecutive title.
"We have one more game, and no game is ever easy," Bentonville Coach Kent Early said. "We can't take anything for granted. It's a credit to these kids getting back there, and it isn't easy in a single-elimination tournament."
Griffith -- who answered Cabot's run in the top of the second with a solo home run in the bottom of the second to tie the game 1-1 -- delivered a single with one out in the fourth, went to second on an error and took third on a wild pitch. Nelson drove her in to give Bentonville a 2-1 lead.
Vaughan, a freshman third baseman, followed by knocking a line drive over the left-field fence for her 12th home run of the season and a 4-1 lead. Tymber Riley drove in Bentonville's final run with a bases-loaded single for a 5-1 edge.
Cailey Cochran (22-2) went the distance to finish with a four-hitter despite a rocky second inning. Cabot (23-7) had the bases loaded with one out when Kaitlyn Campbell was hit by a pitch to fo... Click here to read full article
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette