Adams sisters lead UAPB softball team past Grambling State as Lady Lions take weekend series

Jazlyn Gomez, who plays second base for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, swings at a pitch during the first game of a softball doubleheader against Grambling State at the Torii Hunter Softball Complex in Pine Bluff on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Jazlyn Gomez, who plays second base for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, swings at a pitch during the first game of a softball doubleheader against Grambling State at the Torii Hunter Softball Complex in Pine Bluff on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)


Two sisters from Tulsa led the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to a second-straight series win Saturday.

The UAPB softball team, after winning Friday, split a Saturday doubleheader with Grambling State at the Torii Hunter Softball Complex in Pine Bluff. After Grambling State won the first game 7-1, freshman Kayla Adams and senior Lauryn Adams led UAPB to a 3-0 win in the series finale.

Kayla Adams (10-4), who pitched all seven innings of UAPB’s 4-1 win in Friday’s series opener, again went the distance in the finale. She held Grambling State to three hits while striking out nine hitters with no walks. She became the first UAPB freshman pitcher to win 10 games in her first season.

Neither team scored in the finale until the bottom of the fourth, when Lauryn Adams delivered a two-out, 2-RBI single to score third baseman Amari Broughton and Jada Crusteron, who was pinch running for designated player Shalin Charles. Broughton had led off with a single, and Charles had reached on an error by Grambling State third baseman Tavia Leadon.

Lauryn said she felt honored to drive in the winning runs with her sister pitching.

“This is her freshman year, and she loves it so much,” Lauryn said. “I love the game so much and her, so I just felt like I had to do that for her for the game she pitched.”

Two of Grambling State’s hits came in the top of the sixth when centerfielder Ta’Mya Jonhson doubled and shortstop Katelynn Walls singled with two outs. Walls stole second, putting two runners in scoring position.

Kayla Adams got leftfielder Kamryn Broussard to fly out to right field to end the threat, then retired Grambling State in order in the seventh to clinch the series.

Kayla said winning this game thanks to her sister’s clutch hit may become her best memory with Lauryn.

“It means so much to me,” Kayla said. “She’s the reason why I started pitching, why I started softball in general. She’s the reason why I want to be out there.”

Catcher Kaitlyn Neely gave UAPB some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Her fly ball to right field didn’t quite make it over the wall, but she hit it deep enough for first baseman Samaria Jackson to score from third after she had tripled with one out.

Lauryn, who played leftfield, finished the game 2 for 3 at the plate. She was the only Lady Lion with multiple hits in the game.

UAPB (14-13, 5-3 SWAC) head coach Michael Bumpers said this game was nice for the sisters.

“Lauryn has been hurt a little bit,” Bumpers said. “For her to come up with that big hit to score those 2 runs, that’s huge. That’s huge for us, because we got to get her back rolling and get her back 100 percent. Once that happens, I think the sky’s the limit.”

Grambling State starter Erin Gibbs (3-6) pitched all six innings, allowing 2 earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

UAPB started Danika Bryant (2-3) in Saturday’s first game, but she suffered an injury while facing her first hitter, Johnson, after stepping into a hole in the circle. Johnson singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Broussard.

Bryant finished the inning but did not return for the second inning, at which point freshman Heidi Price took over and finished the game.

Grambling State (11-20, 3-8) added a run each in the second and third innings. UAPB broke the shutout with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth when Jackson singled to score Jazlyn Gomez from second. She had reached scoring position because of an error by Grambling State second baseman Janecia King.

The Lady Tigers pulled starter Jordan Hodge (3-2) at this point for senior Dacia Richard. The righthander pitched the remaining 3 2/3 innings of the game with six strikeouts and no walks. She allowed two hits and no runs.

Price kept the score at 3-1 with a pair of scoreless innings, but Grambling State pulled away with 2 runs in each of the final two innings.

Bumpers said Price wasn’t as warmed up as she normally would have been because of the unexpected injury, but she did a nice job, nonetheless.

“She’s a groundball pitcher, and we just gotta make the plays behind her,” Bumpers said. “We did have a couple of errors behind her and didn’t execute on at least three plays that we should have executed on, we did not.”

Price gave up 4 earned runs on six hits in six innings. She struck out six hitters with one walk.


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