Saturday, 17 March 2018 01:43

Way Throws Second Consecutive No-Hitter; Lady Raiders Blast Pinecrest 18-0

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Junior ace Greyson Way threw her second consecutive no-hitter Friday in Richmond's 18-0 rout of Pinecrest. Junior ace Greyson Way threw her second consecutive no-hitter Friday in Richmond's 18-0 rout of Pinecrest. Photo courtesy of Michelle Morrison Parrish.

SOUTHERN PINES – For the second time in four days, Lady Raiders’ ace Greyson Way tossed a five-inning no-hitter against Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent Pincrest High School. And Richmond piled on the runs, plating 18 in its fourth straight win, marking the second-most runs in a single game in program history.

Making her fifth consecutive start on the season, Way silenced the Lady Patriots, facing just two batters over the minimum. In her last two starts, both against Pinecrest, Way has compiled 17 strikeouts (eight on Friday), walked two batters and has only allowed one runner past first base.

“I don’t really know how to explain it,” Way said of pitching back-to-back no-hitters, a big smile across her face. “Tonight, I threw a lot of inside pitches to jam batters early. And then we went away with a curveball or riseball to get the strikeout.” 

“Greyson came into this season knowing this was going to be her role to fill,” head coach Wendy Wallace said following her ace’s outstanding performance. “We want her to hit, but she knows it’s her job to throw strikes and to keep us in the game. She's doing a great job hitting her spots and mixing things up really well. When all of her pitches are working, she’s tough to hit.”

And while the Lady Raiders (4-1, 4-0 SAC) collected 12 hits in the win, with nine batters getting at least one hit, their scoring got started with a little help from Pinecrest freshman pitcher Gracie Hough. The left-hander, who also started in Tuesday’s loss, lasted just 3.2 innings and walked nine batters and hit three more Lady Raiders’ batters with a pitch. The Lady Patriots also committed five errors. 

Those nine walks, the most Richmond has ever earned in a single game, plated four runs as Hough found herself in bases-loaded trouble several times in the middle innings. Sophomore first baseman Kayla Hawkins got the scoring started in the top of the third inning with two outs when Hough walked her with the bases full of Lady Raiders.

Junior Taylor Parrish was plunked on the next at-bat to score the game’s second run, and sophomore Madison Jordan hit an RBI single to left field before Hough got out of the jam thanks to an outfield assist from left fielder L’asia Jackson, who threw a rocket to home plate to get Hawkins trying to score. Up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the game was still in check. 

And then the wheels fell off for Hough and the Lady Patriots.

Way made quick work in the bottom of the third, getting a lineout, strikeout and groundball out. In the top of the fourth, Richmond would take over by sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs. 

Sophomore second baseman Jadyn Johnson laid a perfect one-out bunt single, and advanced to second on a throwing error to get things started. Junior shortstop Savannah Lampley, who led all players with four RBIs on the night, got hit with a pitch for the second time in the game in the next at-bat, followed by a base on balls to senior catcher Owen Bowers. Following a strikeout by Way for the second out, it appeared as though Hough would escape looming Richmond threat.

But she would walk senior Brianna Baysek and Hawkins in consecutive at-bats to push the game to 5-0. Parrish would line an RBI single into left field to score Bowers from third, and another bases-loaded walk to Jordan would bring in Baysek. 

Hough was pulled from the game following the walk, and fellow freshman Samantha Thompson replaced her – but it didn’t get any easier.

Freshman Payton Chappell kept the two-out rally going for Richmond with a two-run single to center field. The nine-run inning would end with Jordan scoring on ground ball error and a Lampley plating two more with a single to left. 

The most explosive moments of the game came in the top of the fifth when Baysek and Hawkins sent back-to-back jacks over the same stretch of the left field wall to lead off the inning. It was Baysek’s first homer of the year, and Hawkins’ team-leading second.

The night’s scoring was capped off later in the fifth thanks to a Mackenzie Webb tag on an infield fly, and a pair of back-to-back doubles by Lampley and Bowers. 

“Early in the game, we had to make some adjustments,” Wallace explained. “(Hough) started throwing the ball on the outside of the plate so we had to sit back and not try to pull that ball across our bodies. Once we settled down, we came around and hit a lot better.

“We don’t have a weak spot in our lineup one through nine,” she continued. “If we can get consistent with everyone hitting on the same night, that’s going to be a big help for us. The difference between a good team and a great team is not having an easy out in your lineup.” 

Lampley’s three hits raised her batting average to a team-best .533, as well as gave her the team lead in hits with eight. Chappell, Hawkins and Jordan earned their team-leading seventh RBI of the season. Richmond’s 28 combined run in two games against the Lady Patriots is the second time this season they’ve compiled that many runs in a two-game series (outscored Purnell Swett 28-3).

On the season, Way has a 4-1 record with 43 strikeouts in 27 innings (1.59 strikeouts per inning). Following her back-to-back shutouts of Pinecrest, her ERA is now down to 1.30, and she’s only surrendered 12 hits in her 101 batters faced. 

And with Jack Britt High School defeating fellow SAC foe Lumberton High School 11-8 Friday, Richmond sits atop the conference with the lone undefeated record in SAC play.

Richmond will get into tougher player next week, as it’ll face Jack Britt (7-1, 3-1 SAC) twice and non-conference opponent Whiteville (5-0). Jack Britt is first on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 

Last modified on Saturday, 17 March 2018 10:19

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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