Home Local Sports Lady Raiders blank Hoke County

Lady Raiders blank Hoke County

Sophomore Hayden Robinson connects on her two-run homer during Friday's win over Hoke County. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Waiting out Friday’s thunderstorms, the Richmond Senior High School softball team rained down its offense on a 4A conference opponent.

What was originally scheduled as senior night, the Lady Raiders completed the regular-season sweep of Hoke County High School.

Notching all four possible 4A Sandhills Athletic Conference wins this spring, Richmond defeated the Lady Bucks 8-0.

A complete game shutout by junior pitcher Maddie Pearson (six hits, six strikeouts) was complemented by a two-run home run apiece from sophomore Hayden Robinson and freshman Emma Rusich.

Robinson’s blast was her team-leading third long ball of the spring, while Rusich went yard for the first time in her career. Freshman Jorja Moore added two runs batted in with two extra-base hits.

Pearson worked out of an early jam in the top of the first. With two on and one out, a single to center moved the runners. Senior center fielder Addyson Hollingsworth saved a run with an outfield assist, throwing home to Moore who applied the tag.

Still in the first, Hoke County (10-6, 3-5 SAC) loaded the bases, but Pearson fielded a grounder back to the circle and threw to senior Katie Way to get the final out at first base. 

Way led off the home half of the first with a ground ball single through the left side of the infield. Following a pair of outs, Robinson dug in at clean-up and put Richmond ahead for good.

On a 1-1 offering from starter Adriana Miller (three innings, nine hits, six runs), Robinson powered her homer high and deep to straightaway left field to make it 2-0.

Moore added to the lead before the end of the frame, doubling to the gap in right-center. Scoring on the play from first base was junior Jakayla Steele, who reached safely on the first of her two hits.

After facing just four batters in the top of the second, Richmond added a run in the home half. With two outs, Rusich recorded the first of her team-high three RBI with a base knock to the left side of the infield, scoring Hollingsworth (single).

Pearson retired the Lady Bucks in order in the third and the Lady Raiders tacked on two more runs to its lead. Steele connected on a one-out double and scored when Moore ripped an RBI triple to the alley.

Courtesy runner Trinity Lockhart (running for Moore) made it 6-0 in the next at-bat when she raced home following a sacrifice fly by Pearson.

Dialed in, Pearson sat Hoke County down in order in both the fourth and fifth innings. The fifth ended on a 6-4-3 double play started by senior shortstop Ryelan Lyerly.

Richmond posted its final two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Way singled to shallow left to start the inning and Rusich cleared the fence with a laser strike to left field in the next at-bat off relief pitcher Niya Jones (three innings, three hits, two runs).

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Hoke County loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but a fielder’s choice to Robinson at third base kept the shutout intact.

Pearson recorded two of her strikeouts in the top of the seventh, and after a single, she made the final out on a 1-3 putout on a grounder back to her.

Richmond connected for 12 hits in the win, with Way, Rusich, Steele and Moore each having two hits. Robinson, Hollingsworth, Lockhart and senior Christi Jacobs each had one.

The Lady Raiders (6-5, 5-3 SAC) will host non-conference Jack Britt High School (2-10) Saturday at 5 p.m. Senior night will start at 4:45 p.m.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of Friday’s win soon.

JV Lady Raiders credited with win

The Richmond junior varsity softball team only played one and a third innings Friday before its game was called due to thunderstorms.

In what head coach Caroline Wilson called the team’s “best start to a game this season,” the JV Lady Raiders earned a 5-2 victory over Hoke County.

After falling behind 2-0 in the top half of the first, Richmond scored five runs on four hits in the home half.

Nevaeh Robbins tied the game with a two-RBI triple, scoring Kalynn McCormick and Macie King, both of whom singled.

Kinsie Lyerly recorded an RBI, plating Robbins, with a groundout to third base to make it 3-0. 

Scoring the final two runs were Madeline Carriker (inside-the-park home run) and Ashton Terry (error).

King faced two batters in the top of the second before the game was called.

The JV Lady Raiders (5-2, 4-2 SAC) will welcome in Jack Britt Saturday at 3 p.m.