SHALLOTTE, N.C. — The Lady Raider softball team met Whiteville High School on Tuesday morning for the second straight year in the Beach Diamond Invitational at West Brunswick High School. And the results were nearly identical.
Richmond used a three-run third inning to defeat the Lady Wolfpack 4-1 in its second qualifier of the tournament. In last year’s meeting, which was in the opening round, the Lady Raiders beat Whiteville 4-2.
Coming off a shutout in Monday’s qualifying opener over South Columbus, senior pitcher Greyson Way threw another complete game and gave up her lone unearned run in the top of the seventh. She struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits.
After both clubs played a scoreless first two and a half innings, sophomore right fielder Paige Ransom changed the outcome of the game with one swing of her bat.
Fellow sophomore Payton Chappell led off the home half of the third with a triple to the right field corner, and senior Savannah Lampley reached safely after getting plunked by Whiteville pitcher Jenna Bullard.
Next up would be Ransom, who unloaded on Bullard’s first offering for a three-run shot to left field. It marked Ransom’s sixth home run of the season, which is third on the team.
The Lady Raider defense played well behind Way, and saw a fancy 5-4-6 double play keep the Lady Wolfpack scoreless in the top of the third. With a runner on first, Chappell scooped up a bunt from Lauren Dowless and fired it across the diamond to second baseman Kenleigh Frye covering at first.
Frye slung the ball to second base to Lampley, who applied the tag on Gabriella Hayes, who rounded the bag and was caught napping.
Way also made a nice play in the circle, sticking her glove out to rob Tessa Nicholson of a base hit in the top of the sixth.
Freshman Allyiah Swiney would help start a two-out rally that would plate Richmond’s final insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. She raced to second following an error by Kaitlyn Gordon in left field, which allowed Lampley to slap an RBI single to shallow right-center two at-bats later.
Whiteville recorded its lone run on a Marissa Ivey double to left field in the seventh. Bullard, who reached safely on an error, scored.
“We were able to put together some hits when we needed to and Paige had a big hit in the third to put us on top,” head coach Wendy Wallace. “Payton made a good adjustment, and we’ve had some luck with her getting on base and then rolling over to the top of our lineup.
“Greyson had another solid performance and limited the amount of runs she gave up,” she added. “That’s important because we haven’t been scoring as many runs as we had been earlier in the season.”
Lampley had two of Richmond’s four total hits, both going for singles. Ransom’s homer and Chappell’s triple accounted for the other two. Whiteville’s Kiara Wilson had two of her team’s three hits.
The Lady Raiders (19-2) will be back in action Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. when they round out their qualifying games against East Bladen High School (6-10).