In a true roller-coaster ride of a ball game, the Benton Lady Panthers lost 7-5 Friday to Searcy in the 6A State Tournament championship game.
The Lady Lions won their first state title at Bogle Park on the University of Arkansas campus behind pitcher Amber Rollins, who struck out 11 Lady Panthers and was named Most Valuable Player.
Down 7-2 late in the game, Benton scored three runs in the fifth inning to cut Searcy's lead down to two. However, Benton was unable to capitalize with runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings, resulting in a runner-up finish after a great season.
A full recap of the game, along with quotes, photos and reactions, will be included in Monday's edition of The Saline Courier.