ROCKINGHAM — Another pitcher’s duel took place between the Richmond and Lee County softball teams on Friday, but unlike the first matchup, the Lady Raiders couldn’t get the win.
Senior Quston Leviner and Lee County’s Savanna Mullins stole the show, trading zeroes on the scoreboard for much of the game.
The Lady Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, earning a 4-1 win.
It was senior night for the Lady Raider program, which recognized a trio of players. Taking a trip around the bases with their families, Leviner, Makayla Parks and Macy Steen were celebrated for their time on the diamond by public address announcer Biggie Lyerly.
Leviner and Steen have been varsity players for four years, while Parks has spent the past two seasons with the Lady Raiders after transferring as a junior.
Both pitchers threw a complete game. Leviner allowed four runs on four hits, struck out five batters but gave up nine walks. Mullins surrendered just two hits and an earned run with seven strikeouts.
The Lady Yellow Jackets (5-8, 5-5 Sandhills Athletic Conference) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with the bases loaded thanks to a fielder’s choice. Leviner worked out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
Offensive production was halted for both teams until Leviner led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run. On the second offering from Mullins, she barreled up her fourth longball of the season, clearing the wall in left-center to tie the game.
With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth with two outs, Leviner preserved the tie with a fly ball out to center. Junior center fielder Addy Hollingsworth camped out in front of the fence to end the threat.
Both teams stranded base runners in the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, a walk, a one-out double and an intentional walk loaded the bases for the Lady Yellow Jackets.
A bloop single into shallow right scored two runs and another run scored on an RBI groundout in the next at-bat to make it 4-1.
Trying to rally, the Lady Raiders were retired in order in the home half of the seventh.
Getting Richmond’s only other hit was Steen, who had a single. Junior Christi Jacobs drew a walk and junior Caroline Hunsucker reached on a dropped third strike.
Richmond (11-4, 8-3 SAC) is now tied for second place with Union Pines in the standings. The Lady Raiders will close their regular season with two away games next week.
First will be non-conference Marlboro County on Tuesday, followed by SAC-leading Scotland on Thursday.
The Richmond Observer will publish a photo album of Friday’s senior night shortly.