Home Local Sports Way, Steen, Lyerly combine for 9 RBIs in victory over Southern Lee

Way, Steen, Lyerly combine for 9 RBIs in victory over Southern Lee

Junior Katie Way high-fives head coach Mike Way following her 3-run blast. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — The bats were alive for the Lady Raider softball team on Friday, as it started the second round of Sandhills Athletic Conference play with a win.

Completing the season sweep of Southern Lee High School, Richmond used 11 hits to earn a 14-7 victory.

Four of those hits went for extra bases, including a three-run blast by junior Katie Way. Junior Ryelan Lyerly added a pair of doubles and senior Makayla Parks sliced a triple to the left field corner.

Five Lady Raiders recorded two hits in the win — Lyerly, Parks, Way, along with seniors Quston Leviner and Macy Steen. Freshman Hayden Robinson had one hit.

For the first time this season, the Lady Raiders relied on other pitchers besides Leviner, who started and ended Friday’s win (4.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts). Leviner threw the first three innings before tossing the seventh.

Head coach Mike Way inserted Parks into the circle in the top of the fourth (2.0 IP, 3 runs, 5 hits) and sophomore Maddie Pearson pitched the sixth (1.0 IP, 3 runs, 3 hits).

Both teams scored a run in the first inning, starting with Southern Lee scoring on a wild pitch.

In the home half, Steen recorded the first of her three RBIs with a base knock to center, scoring Parks (triple).

A seven-run bottom of the second opened Richmond’s lead to 8-1 after two complete. The Lady Raiders sent 11 batters to the dish in the frame.

Juniors Kady Harris and Christi Jacobs, along with Pearson, drew consecutive walks to load the bases to start the inning. Leviner got a free pass, bringing home Harris, which ended starting pitcher Macie Lucas’ night (1.0 IP, 2 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks).

Replaced with Albani Hooker in the circle, Way was plunked in the foot in the next at-bat, allowing everyone to move up a base and score Jacobs.

With one away, Steen, Lyerly and sophomore Jakayla Steele recorded RBIs in three straight trips to the plate. Steen, who was 2-for-4, connected on a two-RBI single with the bases loaded. That scored Pearson and Leviner to make it 5-1.


Two pitches later, Lyerly doubled home Way from second, one of her team-high four runs scored. 

Steen scored on a wild pitch and Steele capped the big inning with a sacrifice fly to left, plating Lyerly.

Richmond added two more runs in the bottom of the third. Leviner (single) scored on a passed ball and Way (hit-by-pitch) crossed home plate safely on a double steal initiated by Steen (error).

Southern Lee (7-5, 2-5 SAC) scored a run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to cut its deficit to 10-4.

Lyerly, who went 2-for-3 in the game, drove in another run on a double in the bottom of the fifth. Way scored again, this time after reaching on a single to left field.

Two more runs by the Lady Cavaliers in the top of the sixth made it a four-run lead for Richmond.

Way didn’t wait long to open the lead back up for the Lady Raiders, blasting a three-run shot to center field with two away in the bottom of the sixth. It was her fourth shot of the spring, tying her with Lyerly for the team lead, and recorded the final of her game-high four RBIs.

Trotting home ahead of Way were Robinson (single) and Leviner (single) to make it 14-7.

Leviner faced just four batters in the seventh, striking two of them out to secure the victory.

Richmond (9-2, 6-1 SAC) is set to play SAC opponents Pinecrest (home on Tuesday) and Hoke County (away on Thursday) next week before spring break.

Note: The Richmond junior varsity softball team didn’t play on Friday.

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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.