SHALLOTTE, N.C. — The Lady Raider softball team arranged its second date in as many seasons with West Brunswick High School in the Beach Diamond Invitational championship game.
Richmond clipped the East Bladen High School Lady Eagles’ wings 18-0 in its final qualifier game, rolling its way to the title bout against the Lady Trojans. It was the Lady Raiders’ second win of the day, having beaten Whiteville High School 4-1 earlier in morning.
Senior pitcher Greyson Way threw her third no-hitter of the season, striking out eight batters in the five-inning mercy rule victory. She was one walk away from a perfect game, which came with two outs in the top of the fifth.
At the plate, the Lady Raiders (20-2) crushed four home runs by four different batters, including a grand slam by sophomore third baseman Payton Chappell. Also sending longballs over the fence were Way, junior Kayla Hawkins and sophomore Paige Ransom.
Richmond spread out 17 hits against East Bladen’s Kayleigh Raynor, with nine of the 11 players getting at least one. Senior shortstop Savannah Lampley, Hawkins and Way all had a game-high three hits, while senior first baseman Taylor Parrish and Ransom each knocked two hits.
“We looked better swinging the bat in the second game than we did earlier in the day,” head coach Wendy Wallace said. “Greyson looked great pitching and we played really good defense.”
“It’s good the girls are getting back into a groove at the plate,” she added.
After going quietly in the bottom of the first, Wallace’s team’s bats unloaded to hang eight spots in the second and third inning to jump out to a 16-0 lead. Chappell opened the scoring with her sixth homer of the season, and first career grand slam, on a shot to left-center.
Following back-to-back singles by Lampley and Ransom, Way hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Lampley to make it 5-0. A Parrish bases-loaded walk brought in another run, and Hawkins notched the final two runs of the inning with a two-run homer to left field.
In the home half of the third, Lampley recorded an RBI on ground out, scoring freshman Allyiah Swiney (triple). Ransom (RBI single) and Parrish (RBI double) would score the next two runs before courtesy runner Maylyn Wallace and Parrish crossed home safely on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively.
Up 13-0, freshman Kenleigh Frye reached on an error, which allowed Hawkins (single) to score. Swiney would plate two runs when her fly ball to right field fell due to an error.
Way and Parrish would send back-to-back bombs in the bottom of the fourth to cap the game’s scoring.
Chappell’s four RBIs matched her season-high, as Hawkins, Parrish and Way all added two RBIs of their own. Lampley and Ransom rounded out the team’s RBIs with one apiece.
The championship game will feature the same two teams from last season, which saw Richmond fall 3-2 in eight innings to the Lady Trojans (14-4). Both clubs are undefeated through qualifying play.
“The girls still remember losing last year in the championship game,” Wallace concluded. “There’s definitely some redemption on their minds. Hopefully we can take care of business early and put some runs up to put ourselves in the driver’s seat.”
First pitch is set for 7 p.m.