CONWAY, Ar. — Texarkana’s Jaylen Betts was still smiling Friday at Bears Stadium despite going hitless in the West All-Stars 4-2 victory at the University of Central Arkansas.
Arkansas High’s second baseman did have a hit in the first game Friday, which ended in a 7-inning 2-2 deadlock.
“It was a good feeling this week, coming into UCA and meeting a lot of new people,” said Betts, who helped turn three double plays in the doubleheader. “This was a lot of fun, and will be a great memory. I feel like I played well today
Betts was one of three Texarkana area players competing in the Arkansas Activities Association’s annual event. Ashdown graduate Alex Kilbech pitched one inning in the opener, and contributed a single in the nightcap while playing centerfield. Murfreesboro’s Alex Bailey also saw action in the second game.
Kilbech’s baseball career will continue in the fall at Henderson State. Betts hasn’t decided on his college, but hopes to play baseball.
“This experience was a fun deal and I’m glad I got to hang out with a lot of cool guys,” said Kilbech. “We just wanted to play the games and have fun. It wasn’t serious like the state championship game (Ashdown lost to Harding Academy).
West stars celebrate softball victory
It was also a good day for the West stars in a softball twinbill.
Nashville’s Maci McJunkins made a strong run for MVP honors in the first game, won by the West, 9-1. Scrapperette Ashley Chambers contributed in the second game as the West rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-7 tie.
“I had a lot of fun up here, and made a lot of new friends,” said McJunkins, winning pitcher in the 4A state championship game. “We learned that hard work paid off even though we didn’t know each other that well.”
McJunkins had two hits, and pitched 3.1 innings. She allowed two hits and struck out five. McJunkins will attend Southern Arkansas University and continue her softball career.