Home Local Sports Lady Raiders end slide, win in extras at Pinecrest

Lady Raiders end slide, win in extras at Pinecrest

ROSports File Photo: Freshman Jorja Moore hit a grand slam, her first career homer, in the first inning of Tuesday's win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

SOUTHERN PINES — Ending a season-long skid, the Richmond Senior High School softball team got back in the win column Tuesday.

Returning to the diamond for the first time in two weeks, the Lady Raiders picked up a crucial 4A Sandhills Athletic Conference victory in extra innings.

Thanks to a three-run top of the eighth, Richmond defeated Pinecrest High School 14-11 in eight innings.

Richmond led by six runs entering the bottom of the sixth, but Pinecrest rallied to score seven runs and take an 11-10 lead. One run in the top of the seventh and a quiet home half forced the extra frame.

Junior Maddie Pearson pitched a complete game for the Lady Raiders, allowing 11 runs (five earned) on six hits. She also struck out 14 batters, a single-game career-high for her.

Richmond tallied eight hits in the win, none more productive than freshman Jorja Moore’s grand slam in the top of the first inning. 

Pearson had a solo homer, while sophomore Hayden Robinson had two hits (including a double) and senior Ryelan Lyerly added a game-saving RBI triple. Junior Jakayla Steele knocked a pair of singles and freshman Emma Rusich also had a base hit.

Facing Pinecrest starting pitcher Addisyn Stayskal (2.2 innings, seven runs, five walks, four hits), Richmond jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first.

With the bases loaded, Steele opened the scoring with an RBI single to left field, bringing in senior Katie Way (hit-by-pitch).

Five pitches later in the next at-bat, Moore powered her first career varsity home run, a grand slam, over the fence in center. Scoring ahead of her were Rusich (single), Lyerly (walk) and Steele.

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With the bases loaded again in the top of the third, senior Christi Jacobs recorded an RBI when she was plunked by Stayskal. Way plated a run two batters later by drawing a bases-loaded walk. Scoring were Steele (single) and courtesy runner Trinity Lockhart (running for Moore, walk).

Pinecrest scored solo runs in the bottom of the third and fourth frames and added two runs in the home half of the fifth to cut Richmond’s lead to 7-4.

Opening the lead again in the top of the sixth, Robinson crushed a one-out RBI double to score Lyerly (fielder’s choice). Robinson later scored on a wild pitch and Lockhart, running for Moore, made it 10-4 when she scored on an error.

The Lady Patriots (0-10, 0-6) pulled within two runs following a grand slam of their own in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of Richmond errors and a wild pitch allowed the other three runs to score in the inning.

Trailing 11-10 and down to their final out, the Lady Raiders used a timely RBI triple from Lyerly in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Racing home was Lockhart, this time running for Rusich (single).

Pearson retired Pinecrest in order in the bottom of the seventh, paving the way to a three-run top of the eighth. Lockhart scored the game-winning run and Pearson made the trip around the bases on an inside-the-park home run. 

Richmond’s final run came when Way reached on an error on a fly ball to second base, scoring Jacobs (walk).

In the bottom half, Pearson faced just four batters and stranded a leadoff runner to preserve the win.

The Lady Raiders (5-4, 4-3 SAC) will celebrate senior night Friday with a home conference game against Hoke County High School (10-5, 3-4 SAC).

Richmond will recognize Kady Harris, Addyson Hollingsworth, Caroline Hunsucker, Christi Jacobs, Ryelan Lyerly and Katie Way. A victory would also secure the team’s 4A playoff berth.