It was a beautiful afternoon in Paris on Monday. Heck, even the rain stayed away. Tim Johns and Marvin Wiggins were stationed just outside center field broadcasting on the Sportsbrew.net. And with everything in place and with great anticipation to the new season, Paris opened the 2020 softball season by hosting the Mansfield Lady Tigers. Equally anticipated was the first start of the year for Paris’s outstanding junior pitcher, Jadyn Hart…and she did not disappoint. In the non-conference start against Mansfield, Hart dualed Mansfield pitcher Maggie Strunk for five innings until the Lady Eagles were able to put the game out of reach. After nursing a one run lead for most of the game, Paris had a big 6th inning to eventually go on to a 5-1 victory to start the season. Jaydn Hart allowed just four hits in her season debut, and freshman Jayden Wells had an extra base hit and ran the bases well to contribute to the offense late in the game.
Mansfield’s pitcher, Maggie Strunk pitched a solid game until taking a line drive off her upper body late in the game. Strunk, a senior for the Lady Tigers, seemed to be ok after the play, and that is a good thing for Mansfield. She will be counted on heavily this season for Mansfield.
The Lady Tigers return home today to play their first home game of the regular season when they host Gentry on the campus of Mansfield High School. The Lady Tigers will wrap up the week on Thursday when they host the Lavaca Lady Golden Arrows. Paris could see the Lady Tigers again in mid-March as both teams will play in the Clarksville Invitational softball tournament.
Paris’s will now play two mid-week junior varsity games at Greenwood and at Fort Smith Northside. The Lady Eagles will jump into conference play early this season when they host the Two Rivers Lady Gators on Friday. Paris has a solid ballclub, led by its outstanding pitching, and the Lady Eagles should be ready to get their conference schedule off to a great start on Friday.
It is too early in the season for teams to be ranked across Arkansas and in Class 3A. A minimum number of games played is required before teams are ranked by Max Preps. But rest assured, Paris should be ranked high in Class 3A when the first set of rankings are published.
In other conference action on Monday, the Perryville Lady Mustangs also got off to a strong start by defeating Nemo Vista 12-2. The Lady Mustangs, as Coach Hart has predicted, have a lot of returning players and will be a contender with Paris for the conference title. Perryville will travel to Paris for a huge, early season match-up with the Lady Eagles on Thursday, March 12.
Two Rivers, who will be coming to Paris on Friday to open the conference season, had a home game scheduled on Monday with Guy-Perkins. As of the publication time of this article, the score of this game was not available.
The Paris baseball team traveled to Dover to play the Class 4A Pirates. Paris scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to win their first game of the season 6-5. The Eagles baseball team is off to a great start. The team will make the short trip to Scranton to play the Rockets on Wednesday, March 4. Paris’s first home baseball game will be this Friday versus the Two Rivers Gators. Resident Press will have coverage of the Eagles on March 10 when they host the Lamar Warriors.
The weather should be great over the next several days. Friday should be a perfect day weather-wise for Paris’s first conference game when the host the Two Rivers Lady Gators. Come out to the ballpark and treat yourselves to a nice day outdoors and some outstanding Lady Eagles softball and / or Eagles baseball!