Home Local Sports No. 3 Lady Rockets knock off No. 6 East Hoke in first...

No. 3 Lady Rockets knock off No. 6 East Hoke in first round of playoffs

Macy Steen crosses home plate in Tuesday's 6-3 win over East Hoke.
Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — The Rockingham Middle School softball team kicked off the opening round of the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference playoffs at home Tuesday.

Behind a complete game from seventh grade pitcher Savanna Mullins, the No. 3 Lady Rockets ended No. 6 East Hoke Middle School’s season. Rockingham and head coach Morgan Davis defeated the Lady Eagles 6-2 to advance to the second round.

In the circle, Mullins went all seven innings and struck out nine batters. The right-hander also helped herself out at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and two RBIs.

After two and a half scoreless innings, Lady Rocket seventh grader Keyoni Nichols broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. With eighth grader Macy Steen on third, and Mullins on second, Nichols recorded a two-RBI single to put Rockingham ahead.

Mullins would rope an RBI double for another Lady Rocket run, and the Lady Eagles answered back with two runs to make it a 3-2 ball game.


Rockingham would score three unanswered runs in the final couple of innings. Eighth grader Sydney Smith would bring in the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single. Mullins would add another RBI base knock, and Ashton Alexander smacked an RBI single up the middle for the game’s final run.

Nichols finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a double and a single and two RBIs, and Smith also recorded two hits and added an RBI. Steen was 2-for-3 with a double and a single, and Alexander’s RBI single was her lone hit.

With the win, No. 3 Rockingham advanced to the second round and will face No. 2 and rival Hamlet Middle School on Wednesday. In the regular-season meeting, the Lady Rockets defeated the Lady Red Rams 6-3, overcoming an early deficit.

First pitch for the SEMSAC semifinal game is set for 4 p.m. Both teams are chasing No. 1 and reigning SEMSAC champion Carver Middle School.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.