The Hope Ladycats put together a productive game plan early in their first conference battle on the road to their longtime school rivals' Magnolia Lady Panthers in softball competition on the diamond last Thursday night in Magnolia.

The Hope Ladycats put together a productive game plan early in their first conference battle on the road to their longtime school rivals' Magnolia Lady Panthers in softball competition on the diamond last Thursday night in Magnolia.

The Ladycats sparked out to an early lead advantage 7-1 over Magnolia through the fourth inning. 

The Lady Panthers rallied back to hold the Ladycats scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings as Magnolia scored five runs in the fifth and eight runs in the sixth. Magnolia led Hope 14-7 going into the seventh inning. Hope put some fear into the Lady Panthers by accounting three key runs across home plate, but Magnolia would hold them off on the comeback to prevail for the four-run victory.

Andria Curtis collected four hits in defeat. Curtis singled in the first, singled in the third, singled in the fourth, and singled in the seventh.

Hope fired up the offense in the first inning with two runs scored when Zymesha Lee doubled.

Hope put up three runs in the seventh inning with a big inning of singles by Curtis, Tristen Jones, and Morgan Gray. 

Natalie Phillips put in the work from the pitcher's circle for the Ladycats at pitcher. In six innings of work, Phillips allowed 11 hits and 14 runs while striking out five batters and walking one and threw 65 strikes across the plate into the catcher's mitt.

The Ladycats totaled 10 runs on 13 hits in the game. Curtis, Lee, Jones, and Gray all had multiple hits for Hope. Curtis went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead Hope in hits. Gray had four RBI's and the trio of Lee, Jones and Curtis each had two RBI's apiece. 

Phillips and Curtis each scored four runs apiece and Ally Fincher scored one run. Lee, Phillips, Jones and Curtis all had a stolen base apiece.

Magnolia had 14 runs on 11 hits with two errors in the game.

This week, the Ladycats enter into tourney play to compete in the 2018 Debra McMaster Memorial Scholarship Softball Tournament scheduled March 15-17 in Hope. 

During league play, the Ladycats will host Hot Springs on today and this coming Thursday they'll be home to face Camden-Fairview at Ladycat Stadium.