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Wednesday, 07 April 2021 23:32

Lady Raiders' comeback falls short against Purnell Swett

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Senior pitcher Paige Ransom threw five innings of relief and had two RBIs in Wednesday's loss. Senior pitcher Paige Ransom threw five innings of relief and had two RBIs in Wednesday's loss. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — A slow start through the first two innings proved costly for the Richmond softball team during Wednesday’s game against Purnell Swett High School.

Dropping their second game in as many nights, the Lady Raiders surrendered a 10-5 loss to the Sandhills Athletic Conference leading Lady Rams.

“We were on the wrong end of where we wanted to be two nights in a row,” head coach Mike Way said. “We’re not a comeback kind of team — we need to be playing ahead or close. A four-run deficit after the first inning doesn’t play in our favor.

“It’s not our strength to try and come back from that. When we’re down, we can’t play our game as much, which is stealing bases and bunting.”

Richmond (4-3) trailed 7-2 after the first two innings before chipping away at the score later in the game. Sophomore pitcher Quston Leviner started in the circle and allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in two innings.

Senior Paige Ransom followed with five innings of relief, giving up three runs (one earned) on five hits. The Lady Raider defense committed four errors in the game.

Purnell Swett got on the board in the first with a two-run double from Torrie Butler, followed by RBI singles from Kaitlyn Locklear and Kara Deese.

In the top of the second, the Lady Rams used a passed ball and a two-RBI double from Angelica Locklear to jump ahead 7-0.

Richmond answered in the home half with a pair of runs. Ransom led off the frame with a solo homer to left field, and freshman Katie Way (double) later scored on a fielding error.

Purnell Swett added a run in the top of the third courtesy of an error to hold an 8-3 lead.

Ransom struck again in the bottom of the third, this time doubling to the left-center gap and scoring senior Payton Chappell, who reached safely on a fielder’s choice.

The closest Richmond would cut the deficit would be three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Macy Steen led off the inning with a double, one of her two in the game, and raced home safely following a wild pitch from Chandra Locklear.

On the same play, junior Kenleigh Frye (fielder’s choice) moved to third, and advanced home when an errant pickoff attempt sailed down the left field line. After six complete, Richmond trailed 8-5.

Purnell Swett scored its final two runs in the top of the seventh, using an Angelica Locklear solo homerun and a MariJo Wilkes RBI single.

The Lady Raiders collected six hits against Chandra Locklear, two each from Ransom and Steen. Katie Way added a double and junior Allyiah Swiney had a triple. 

Ransom was responsible for both of Richmond’s RBIs, and the Lady Raiders stranded six runners on base.

Angelica Locklear and Wilkes both had three hits for Purnell Swett (6-1), and Angelica Locklear notched a game-high three RBIs.

“We’re at a point where it’s one direction or the other,” Way closed. “We go from riding high and leading the conference to third or fourth in the standings fighting for our lives, all in a matter of two days.

“My message to the team was who do we want to be — that first team or the team of the past two days.”

The Lady Raiders will look to return to the win column on Monday when they host Pinecrest High School at 6 p.m.

JV Lady Raiders rally late against Purnell Swett

The Richmond junior varsity softball team scored eight runs in the final three innings of Wednesday’s game to finish in an 8-8 tie with Purnell Swett.

The game was called after seven innings in order to start the varsity game on time.

After failing to get a baserunner on through the first four innings, and trailing 4-0, the JV Lady Raiders crushed seven hits to rally late.

Freshman Christi Jacobs, who went 2-or-3 with three RBIs, started the scoring with a two-run shot just inside the left field foul pole in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Purnell Swett added two runs in the sixth to extend its lead to 6-2, but Richmond answered with four runs in the home half. 

Sophomore Sydney Smith laced a two-run homer to center, freshman Kady Harris plated Ryelan Lyerly (single) with an RBI single and Jacobs knotted the game at six runs with an RBI knock to left field.

The Lady Rams took an 8-6 lead in the top of the seventh, but some effective base running by the Lady Raiders tied the game before the final out. Smith would record her third RBI of the game on a fielder’s choice, scoring Addy Hollingsworth (error).

Sophomore Chaslie Holden, who drew a walk and advanced to third on Smith’s ground ball, stole home for the game’s final run.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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