The Alma Lady Airedales needed a near-perfect effort from junior Makenzie Martin Thursday at Mountain Home High School.
White Hall pitcher allowed just two hits over seven innings and the red-hot Lady Bulldogs blanked Alma, 3-0, in the first round of the 5A state tournament.
Alma (20-11) had won 17 of 23 prior to Thursday’s loss.
But White Hall, which opened the season with four straight defeats, lost six of seven games before turning the tide. The Lady Bulldogs are 17-1 since March 12.
The Lady Bulldogs (18-7) face unbeaten Benton (28-0) today at 10 a.m. in the quarterfinals.
Taelynn Perry, who finished her junior season with 52 hits and a sparkling .536 batting average, finished 1-for-3 on the day. Shelbi Hesson collected Alma’s other hit.
Martin, who finished 14-6 on the season, matched Wood pitch-for-pitch in the first three innings before Emma Rongey’s tie-breaking RBI in the fourth. The game was still tight into the sixth innings when White Hall’s Laykin Hartsfield belted a two-run homer.
Alma finished the season with four hitters batting .400 or better. In addition to Perry, Julia Nutt and Bailey Webb batted .435 and .425, respectively.
Martin, who added four homers and 21 RBIs, finished with a .402 batting average.