Bowie pitcher Lindsay Barzanti had packed her bag and was on her way off the field when her dad stopped her to remind her of one last thing. He wanted to make sure she took a photo of the C.H. Flowers’ scoreboard displaying a 14-4 Bulldogs win in five innings. Someone needed to send the score to Ja’Seph Smith, a four-year varsity player and center fielder. Smith is missing the entire week of school and games for the funeral of her uncle, who recently passed away from cancer.
“Do it for Jay, do it for her uncle, is what we’ve been saying.” Barzanti said.
That was one of the mantras that fueled Barzanti through an eight-strikeout performance in Springdale and a second career win against top county competition.
The other was “let’s get out of here in five,” an ambitious goal against a team that the Bulldogs beat by just one run in both meetings last year, including a 10-9 win in the region semifinal. This year’s team is more complete, Barzanti said, and “all the dots are connected,” allowing them to invoke the mercy rule against a team they beat 1-0 in the regular season at this time last year.
The Bulldogs (5-0) showcased their cohesiveness and capable hitting with eight of nine players in the lineup batting in a run. A three-run home run from Tiarra Delaney put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth.
“We’re strong minded,” Delaney said. “We don’t get down on each other.”
Things started going downhill for the Jaguars (3-2) after a line drive hit their second baseman in the second inning. They got run-scoring hits in the third and fifth innings from Kelsi Lawson, Zakiyya Brown (two) and Saahirah Brown. But at that point, the Bulldogs already had a seven-run lead, and during their next turn at the plate Barzanti struck out the side.
“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” Delaney said of beating a top county team so soundly at this point in the season. They’ll hope to use the momentum from the win, and the motivation of playing for Smith’s uncle, to go three-for-three.