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MOVING ON: No. 7 Lady Raiders coast past No. 26 Jordan in playoff opener

Junior Ryelan Lyerly attempts to turn a double play during Richmond's playoff win on Tuesday. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Once the carousel of hits and runs started for the Richmond softball team during Tuesday’s first round playoff game, it was difficult to stop.

The No. 7 Lady Raiders made quick work against their 4A East playoff opponent, mercy-ruling No. 26 Jordan High School 16-4 in five innings.

Swatting 13 hits, including four doubles, the Lady Raiders put up big numbers early and often to end the Lady Falcons’ season.

Richmond scored three runs in the first, broke it open with five runs in the second and iced the win with a pair of four-run innings in the third and fourth frames.

Senior Quston Leviner did damage at the plate and in the circle, pitching a complete game with five strikeouts. She allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits.

In the leadoff spot, Leviner went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three singles. She recorded one run batted in and matched junior teammate Katie Way for the team-high in runs scored with four.

Way, who was 3-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, also connected on a double and finished with four RBI. Matching that total was senior Makayla Parks, who had four RBI and a double. 

Other contributors were senior Macy Steen and junior Ryelan Lyerly, who both added a pair of RBI. Lyerly connected on three hits, including a double.

A couple of defensive plays in the top of the first inning helped keep the Lady Falcons off the board. Steen hosed a would-be base stealer at second base with Way applying the tag, and junior Christi Jacobs made a shoestring catch in right field.

Junior Katie Way, who had 4 RBI and scored 4 runs, tags out Gabby Penny trying to steal second in the first inning. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Using a pair of doubles in the home half, Richmond jumped ahead 3-0. Parks got the scoring started with an RBI double down the line in left, scoring Leviner (single). Two at-bats later, Lyerly lasered a two-RBI double to the left field corner, scoring Way (single) and Parks.

Jordan got a run back in the top of the second, but a five-spot in the bottom frame made it an 8-1 lead for Richmond.


Sending nine batters to the plate, Jacobs (walk) scored the first of her two runs after an error in center. Junior Addy Hollingsworth (error) scored on a wild pitch and consecutive RBI groundouts by Parks and Steen plated two more runs.

The final run of the inning came when sophomore Jakayla Steele (walk) initiated a double steal, drawing the throw and allowing Lyerly (single) to race home from third.

Junior Christi Jacobs makes a low catch in the first inning. She scored two of Richmond’s 16 runs on Tuesday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Leviner faced only four batters in the third, which was followed by four runs in four straight at-bats in the home half.

Jacobs (walk) and Hollingsworth (single) reached to start the frame. Leviner helped her cause with a double to the gap to score Jacobs. Way brought in Hollingsworth when she beat out an infield single to third.

Parks registered her second RBI on another groundout to bring in Leviner, and Way scored when Steen lined an RBI single to center.

Jordan (15-7) used two triples and an error to record its final three runs in the fourth, cutting the deficit to 12-4.

Senior Quston Leviner, thrown a pitch in the second inning, was 4-for-4 at the plate and scored 4 runs. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

With one out a half inning later, Way iced the mercy-rule win with a three-RBI double with the bases loaded. Scoring were Caroline Hunsucker (walk), Maddie Pearson (walk) and Leviner (single).

Way moved to third on the throw and crossed home plate for the game’s final run courtesy of another Parks RBI groundout.

No. 7 Richmond (13-7) moves onto the second round and will get another home game on Friday. The Lady Raiders will host No. 23 Holly Springs High School (13-9) at 7 p.m.

The game will be a rematch of last year’s 4A East second-round game, which saw Richmond’s season come to an end against the Lady Golden Hawks.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.