RAEFORD — The top of the lineup proved productive again for the Richmond softball team in Thursday’s Sandhills Athletic Conference game.
Completing another season sweep, their third in three tries, the Lady Raiders defeated Hoke County High School 7-2.
Quston Leviner, Katie Way and Makayla Parks, Richmond’s 1-2-3 hitters, combined for six of the team’s eight hits and drove in a total of five runs. Leviner and Way each had a double and Parks crushed a solo homer.
Peppering the scoreboard with at least one run in five different innings, the Lady Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
With two away, Parks barreled up an offering from starting pitcher Adriana Miller (CG, 8 hits, 7 runs) for her fourth longball of the spring.
In the home half, Leviner (CG, 8 hits, 2 runs) worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to preserve the lead. She used a pop out to Ryelan Lyerly at second followed by the first two of her 11 Ks, which tied her single-game career-high.
The defense helped out in the bottom of the second, rolling a 1-3-4 double play to end the frame.
Parks, who finished with Way for the game lead with two RBI, recorded her second in the top of the third to make it 2-0. Lacing a line drive single to left, Parks scored Leviner, who led off the inning with a single.
Hoke County (5-10, 1-8 SAC) cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Raiders answered with a pair of runs in the fourth.
With two away, Leviner and Way traded spots with back-to-back doubles to extend the lead to 4-1. Both finding the gap in center, Leviner scored Addy Hollingsworth (walk) and Way drove in Leviner.
Richmond added to its lead with two runs in the sixth after Leviner stranded two runners in the fourth and retired the Lady Bucks in order in the fifth.
Caroline Hunsucker dug in and roped a hard-hit RBI double to center to score Christi Jacobs (walk). Hunsucker’s double was one of four in the game, the others going to Leviner, Way and Macy Steen.
Way drove in her second run of the game two at-bats later, lining an RBI single the opposite way to right field to plate Hollingsworth (running for Hunsucker).
Capitalizing on one of Hoke County’s five errors in the game, the Lady Raiders’ final run came in the top of the seventh. Jakayla Steele reached on an error at third, allowing Lyerly (fielder’s choice) to score.
The Lady Bucks used an RBI single from Miller in the seventh to add a run, but Leviner shut the door on her 11th win of the season with a strikeout and used help from Steen, who nabbed Miller trying to swipe third for the final out.
Richmond (11-2, 8-1 SAC) will get an extended break over the holiday, returning to play on Tuesday, April 18, at Union Pines High School (7-6, 5-3 SAC).
JV softball takes high-scoring affair at Hoke County
Winning their second straight game, and playing for the first time since March 28, the Richmond junior varsity softball team defeated Hoke County 14-10 on Thursday.
Playing five innings (time limit) the JV Lady Raiders used an eight-run top of the second to help them to victory. They also scored a run in the first and five runs in the third.
Maddie Pearson pitched all 5 innings and allowed 10 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits. She struck out 8 batters.
Matching the score with 14 hits, Pearson and Kinsie Lyerly led the team with three hits apiece (all singles). Trinity Lockhart, Addison Raines and Hayden Robinison each had two hits, with all three notching a triple.
Richmond’s other two hits were doubles by Jamesyn Quick and Tatum Watson. Pearson and Lyerly each recorded a team-high 2 RBI in the win.
Lockhart and Lyerly combined to cross home plate six times, while Robinson, Raines, Quick and Watson all had one RBI.
The JV Lady Raiders (5-2-1, 2-1-1 SAC) will also play at Union Pines on April 18.