Home Local Sports Late rally at Pinecrest keeps Lady Raiders perfect

Late rally at Pinecrest keeps Lady Raiders perfect

Junior Ryelan Lyerly at the plate before her 2-RBI double in the first inning. (Deon Cranford/The Richmond Observer)

SOUTHERN PINES — The perfect start to the season continued for the Lady Raider softball team on Thursday, albeit in comeback fashion.

Playing a day earlier than anticipated, Richmond extended its winning streak to four games with a 10-6 win over Pinecrest High School.

Matching their start from a season ago, the Lady Raiders also picked up their second Sandhills Athletic Conference win of the week.

The win marked the Lady Raiders’ 16th consecutive victory over the Lady Patriots, and kept Richmond as the only undefeated team remaining in the SAC.

After taking an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Richmond trailed 3-2 after the first full inning. That deficit grew to 5-2 before an eight-run top of the sixth inning put the Lady Raiders ahead for good.

Facing starting pitcher Macey Jackson (5.1 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks), a one-out walk by junior Katie Way and a two-out infield single by senior Macy Steen put runners on the corners.

Junior Ryelan Lyerly dug in and belted the first offering from Jackson for a two-RBI double to center field, two of her team-high three RBIs in the win. Way led the team in runs scored for the second straight game, crossing home three times.

In the bottom half, Pinecrest used a wild pitch, an RBI groundout by Anjali Williams and an RBI single from Lauren Jefferson to take a 3-2 lead.

Richmond’s bats went quietly in the second and the Lady Patriots (2-2, 0-1) added another run on a Karma Morrison RBI base knock.

Steen, who led the team with three hits, doubled with one out in the top of the third. But the inning ended with two outs on the basepaths.

Senior pitcher Quston Leviner settled in after the rocky first two innings, stranding a pair of runners in scoring position in the third. Leviner pitched her fourth complete game of the spring, allowing 13 hits, 6 runs (2 earned) and striking out 10 batters.

Jackson sat the Lady Raiders down in order in the fourth and fifth innings, and a steal of home by Nakia Collins with two away in the fifth made it a 5-2 lead.

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Richmond flipped the script in the sixth, sending a dozen batters to the dish to take a 10-5 lead.

Way started the frame by reaching on an error that set in motion four consecutive doubles, a merry-go-round of trading places by the Lady Raiders.

Senior Makayla Parks started it with a two-bagger to left field, followed by another double from Steen that scored Way.

Lyerly doubled home Parks and Steen was tagged out trying to score from second for the first out. Sophomore Jakayla Steele hit the fourth double of the inning to left, tying the game 5-5 when Lyerly scored.

Taking over in the circle for Pinecrest was Addisyn Stayskal (1.2 IP, 4 runs, 1 hit), who walked juniors Kady Harris and Addy Hollingsworth. Steele scored when she stole home to make it 6-5.

An error on a Leviner fly ball to center scored Harris and Hollingsworth. 

Way capped the big inning when she hit a moonshot over the wall in center field on Stayskal’s second offering, her first long ball of the spring.

Morrison got a run back in the bottom of the seventh on a single to center, but Leviner iced the win by retiring two of the next three batters.

The Lady Raiders (4-0, 2-0 SAC) have a trio of games next week, starting with Hoke County High School (3-3, 0-2 SAC) on Tuesday at home, starting at 7 p.m.

That will be followed by an away game at Montgomery Central on Thursday and a home SAC game against Union Pines on Friday.

Note: The Richmond junior varsity softball team’s game at Pinecrest was canceled on Thursday.