Friday, 15 March 2019 09:50

Deja Vu: Lady Raiders slap five homers in second-straight game to shutout Pinecrest

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Taylor Parrish, Paige Ransom, Greyson Way and Kayla Hawkins combined for five homers in Thursday's win over Pinecrest. Taylor Parrish, Paige Ransom, Greyson Way and Kayla Hawkins combined for five homers in Thursday's win over Pinecrest. Michelle Parrish — The Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High School varsity softball team has caught the home run bug this week, as the Lady Raiders blasted another five homers in Thursday’s game, bringing the week’s total to 14 dingers in three games.

Welcoming in Pinecrest High School to cap off the regular-season series, the Lady Raiders remained perfect on the spring with a five-inning 11-0 victory over the Lady Patriots.

At the dish, four different Richmond batters combined for the night’s five longballs, making it the second time in two nights the team accomplished that feat. The Lady Raiders crushed five against Uwharrie Charter Academy on Wednesday, and the night prior at Pinecrest, they cranked four more homers.

Richmond (6-0, 4-0 SAC) currently leads the state with 17 home runs. Through six games last season, the Lady Raiders had just seven home runs. At season’s end, they had tied the North Carolina state record with 55 home runs, previously set by South Granville High School in 2015.

Senior Greyson Way hit her third and fourth homers of the season just a night after setting the Richmond program record with her 32nd career blast. Fellow senior Taylor Parrish knocked her team-leading fifth dinger, and surpassed her season total from her junior campaign.

Also adding home runs were junior Kayla Hawkins and sophomore Paige Ransom, both their second of the season. All four Lady Raiders homered against Uwharrie Charter, and Parrish had two against Pinecrest on Tuesday.

“They’re swinging the bat well and seeing the ball really well,” head coach Wendy Wallace said after the game. “They’re being aggressive and are really comfortable at the plate.

“We go up with the mentality of hitting every ball really hard, not necessarily trying to hit home runs,” she added. “We don’t want to strikeout, we just want to hit it hard and make things happen. And that’s just the way it’s been (this week).”

The Lady Raiders racked up a season-high 14 hits, 10 of which came off starting pitcher Gracie Hough. Senior Savannah Lampley started the bottom of the first with a single to right, and scored three at-bats later when Parrish slapped an RBI single.

Hawkins made it a 2-0 ball game when she hit an RBI-single to left field, scoring Way (hit by pitch). Freshman Kenleigh Frye capped off the three-run inning with an infield hit that scored Parrish from third, her first career RBI.

Way started her performance from the circle by sitting down the first nine Lady Patriot batters she faced in order, striking out the side in the top of the third inning.

Richmond would add two more runs in the bottom half of the inning, as Hawkins connected on the first pitch from Hough and sent it over the left field fence for a two-RBI blast.

The Lady Raiders kept the longball barrage going in the bottom of the fourth, as Ransom, Way and Parrish hit back-to-back-to-back jacks to push the score to 9-0.

Sophomore Payton Chappell led off the inning with a single to right, and raced to third following a fielding error. Ransom’s homer would be a two-run shot two at-bats later, and was followed by Way and Parrish. All three batters took Hough deep on three straight pitches.

Junior Hannah Spinali replaced Hough in the circle following Parrish’s shot, and got out of the inning without any more damage despite allowing singles to Hawkins and Madison Jordan.

A one-two-three top half of the fifth for Way that saw the final two of her nine strikeouts, set up the game-ending hit. With two outs and Chappell on second, Way launched the fifth homer of the night over the left-center fence to mercy-rule the Lady Patriots.

Richmond finished the night with seven extra-base hits, with Hawkins and Parrish leading the way with three apiece. Hawkins was also tied with Way for the team lead with three RBIs, as Ransom and Parrish both knocked in two runs.

“The girls are having a lot of fun right now and are riding that high,” Wallace said. “It’s big to have that confidence with two big games coming up against Jack Britt (High School). We’re going to see good pitching next week, and they can hit, so it’ll be a good battle.”

Jack Britt is the reigning 4A state champion, but Richmond’s mark against last year’s state title team was 3-0 during the regular season. The first game is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Rockingham.

Last modified on Friday, 15 March 2019 09:50
Kyle Pillar

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

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