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Way’s 2 homers, near-perfect game lead Lady Raiders to crucial SAC road win at Lumberton

Greyson Way (17) high-fives head coach Wendy Wallace after hitting one of her two home runs in Wednesday's win.
Michelle Parrish — The Richmond Observer.

LUMBERTON — The top two Sandhills Athletic Conference softball teams met in Lumberton Wednesday, and it was the Lady Raiders who emerged victorious to remain undefeated in conference play.

Behind 5.2 innings of perfect softball from ace Greyson Way in the circle, as well as a dominating night at the plate by the senior right-hander, the Lady Raiders knocked off the Lady Pirates 5-1.

After overcoming a slow start through the first three innings, which saw both teams kept scoreless, Richmond unloaded its bats in the final four frames, crushing three home runs in the process.

Way tossed her 11th complete game of the season, holding Lumberton to just two hits, while striking out 13 batters. She also retired the first 17 batters she faced in order.

The senior pitcher gave up her first hit of the game in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, an infield hit by Lumberton’s No. 9 hitter Ashley Prevatte.

“Greyson threw really well tonight and hit her spots,” head coach Wendy Wallace commented. “She was able to get ahead early in the count, and she was in command and control of the game all night. Greyson kept them off balanced and managed to get a lot of weak ground balls and fly balls for outs.”

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, senior first baseman Taylor Parrish dug in and unleashed on a Morgan Britt offering, sending the ball over the left field fence. The solo shot was Parrish’s team-leading ninth bomb of the spring, as well as her team-leading 21st RBI.

Following a strikeout, junior left fielder Madison Jordan reached base safely on a single, one of Richmond’s 12 hits on the night. In the next at-bat, freshman lefty Kenleigh Frye roped a double to right field, plating Jordan for the eventual game-winning run.

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Richmond would add on insurance runs in the final two frames, adding one in the sixth and two in the seventh. Way sent Britt’s first pitch of the sixth over the center field wall for her sixth home run of the season.

Senior shortstop Savannah Lampley would collect her lone hit of the night to lead off the seventh, using her speed to beat out a bunt single. Two at-bats later, Way teed up another Britt pitch, this time clearing the left-field fence for a two-run blast, her seventh of the year.

On top of the three homers, which brings Richmond’s total to 28 in 12 games, the Lady Raiders collected two doubles (Frye and Parrish). Parrish and Way each finished the night with three hits apiece, and Way’s three RBIs were a game-high.

Lumberton (8-4, 6-3 SAC) would score its only run in the bottom of the seventh, capitalizing on two Richmond errors. Britt would lead off by reaching on an error at third, and score four batters later with two outs on a Rachel O’Neil RBI single.

“Greyson also had a great night at plate, and she’s seeing the ball really well,” Wallace said. “Kenleigh had a nice RBI double with two strikes, and the girls kept swinging aggressively. We made (Britt) throw down in the zone, and were able to hit it hard.

“We did leave several runners on base, and had some missed opportunities early in the game,” she concluded. “I’m happy the girls made adjustments to hit better pitches later in game, but we’ve got to be able to shut the door in last inning and not have those errors.”

Richmond (11-1, 9-0 SAC) will host Lumberton Thursday in the regular-season series finale. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Rockingham.

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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.