Home Local Sports Lady Raiders drop close game to Jack Britt in pitchers’ duel

Lady Raiders drop close game to Jack Britt in pitchers’ duel

Junior Allyiah Swiney, pictured making an out in the bottom of the fourth, recorded Richmond's lone run on a solo homer.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

FAYETTEVILLE — What proved to be a pitchers’ duel on Wednesday, the Lady Raider softball team couldn’t overcome Jack Britt High School on the road.

The Sandhills Athletic Conference matchup saw a pair of Richmond pitchers, Paige Ransom and Quston Leviner, go pitch for pitch with UNC signee Carlie Myrtle. 

But a hiccup in the top of the first inning, coupled with two errors in the bottom of the third, resulted in a 3-1 loss.

“We missed a chance in the first inning with runners on second and third with nobody out,” head coach Mike Way said. “There was a tough call at the plate and I didn’t watch it because I didn’t think it would be close. 

“That took the wind out of us a little bit,” he added. “We got the opportunity to score in the first inning and we didn’t, and it made us feel a little bit trapped. (Jack Britt) is a good team with good pitching. Our girls played hard, we pitched well and played great defense. We just came out on the short end of it.”

Juniors Allyiah Swiney and Kenleigh Frye reached safely to start the game, and quickly advanced into scoring position. 

On a Payton Chappell grounder to second, Daylah Johnson threw home and catcher Madison Jones applied the tag to Swiney. Despite having Chappell and Frye on second and third, respectively, with one away, Richmond couldn’t score in the opening frame.

Swiney recorded the team’s lone run on a solo homer in the top of the third inning, her second longball in as many games. She leads the Lady Raiders with three homers this spring.

In the teams’ first meeting on March 22, Richmond earned a 10-run win over the Lady Buccaneers. Part of the difference Wednesday was Richmond’s inability to stay ahead of Myrtle’s pitches.

“Her control and locating pitches was much better tonight,” Way said of the opposing pitching. “I thought we did a better job putting the ball in play, but (Myrtle) was able to get ahead in the count, which is always big.”

Advertisements

The Lady Raiders collected just three hits on the night, with singles from Frye and Leviner accompanying Swiney’s home run. Richmond managed to get several other players on, but stranded five base runners in the game.

Richmond went down in order in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Following Swiney’s homer to left field with one out in the third, Frye singled to right but was left aboard.

Junior Maylyn Wallace reached on an error in the fifth, and Leviner knocked a single to lead off the seventh, but both wouldn’t reach home safely. Leviner managed to get to third base in the seventh before the game ended on one of Myrtle’s 13 strikeouts.

Jack Britt scored its first run in the bottom of the second on an Ennovi Sandoval base knock to center. The final two runs were scored on a pair of Richmond errors in the bottom of the third inning. 

Ransom started in the circle for the Lady Raiders, allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits in four innings. Leviner pitched the final two frames, and faced just eight batters and stranded two runners in the process.

“I went with Paige as our starting pitcher because she has experience playing here,” Way explained. “It can be intimidating, and for us to be good, both Paige and Quston have to be on top of their game. I trust them and I thought it was better to go with both of them at different times tonight.”

The Lady Raiders now sit in fourth place in the SAC standings, but Way said with the level of competition in the conference, anything can still happen. Richmond just needs to focus on itself and try to win out its final three SAC games.

“It’s been so crazy with everyone beating everyone. All we can do is keep playing and see what happens,” Way closed. “Hopefully things work out in our favor. We need to put up the best record we can.”

Richmond (5-4 SAC) will look to reenter the win column and stay near the top of the standings when it travels to Hoke County High School (0-9, 0-8 SAC) on Monday. The Lady Raiders defeated the Lady Bucks 8-0 on March 24.

Note: The junior varsity softball team didn’t play Wednesday due to Jack Britt not having a program.