Friday, 22 March 2019 23:54

Solo shots by Chappell, Ransom lead Lady Raiders to sweep over Jack Britt

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The Lady Raiders greet Payton Chappell at home following her solo homer in the top of the fifth inning. The Lady Raiders greet Payton Chappell at home following her solo homer in the top of the fifth inning. Michelle Parrish — The Richmond Observer

FAYETTEVILLE — Two first-pitch swings by sophomore duo Payton Chappell and Paige Ransom was all the Lady Raider varsity softball team needed to complete the regular-season sweep of the defending 4A state champion Jack Britt Lady Buccaneers.

On the road Friday, Chappell and Ransom would go yard with solo shots to lead the Lady Raiders to a 2-1 win over Jack Britt, remaining perfect on the year. The homers were Nos. 19 and 20 on the season for Richmond, and it marked the eighth-straight win over the Lady Bucs.

Ransom had a big night for the Lady Raiders, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and her fourth homer of the season. She also homered in Tuesday’s 10-7 win over Jack Britt at home. Chappell recorded her second longball of the spring.

“Without a doubt those were big hits for us tonight,” head coach Wendy Wallace said after the game. “Both girls were aggressive swinging at the first pitch in their at-bat. Right before Payton hit hers, we talked in the dugout how we were taking too many pitches at the plate.

“(Carlie Myrtle) threw the ball really well tonight and we didn’t seem as comfortable against her like we did on Tuesday,” she added. “To be able to get those runs any way we can, we’ll take them.”

What turned out to be a pitching duel between Jack Britt’s sophomore and Richmond’s senior ace Greyson Way, the two teams combined for only 10 hits on the night. In Tuesday’s first meeting, the Lady Raiders had 12 knocks to Jack Britt’s seven.

Way earned her eighth win from the circle, tossing a complete game, and allowing a lone run in the bottom of the third inning. She recorded nine strikeouts and limited the Lady Bucs to just four hits.

In five of her seven innings of work, Way retired her competition in order.

After two scoreless frames from both teams to start the game, Ransom launched Myrtle’s first offering over the center-field wall with two outs in the top of the third.

In the home half of the inning, the Lady Bucs would use a one-out single by Taryn O’Connor and a sacrifice bunt from Abigail Johnson to set up their only run of the contest. Digging in next was senior catcher Catie McGrath, who roped a double to center, scoring O’Connor.

With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Chappell recorded the game-winning run with her blast to center field. The Lady Raiders loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, but weren’t able to add any insurance runs.

Jack Britt managed to get two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, but Way got Jessica McRae to ground out to Kenleigh Frye at second base to end the threat. The UNC-Greensboro commit came in and closed the door in the seventh, throwing just 12 pitches to retire the Lady Bucs in order.

“We don’t necessarily want to play close games, but it is good for us,” Wallace explained. “There will be close games the rest of the year and hopefully in the playoffs, so this was a good experience for the girls. It helps our younger players know what it’s like being in a tight game.”

The Lady Raiders recorded six hits off Myrtle, with the other two coming from Frye and senior Taylor Parrish (both singles). Through eight games this season, Parrish leads the team with a .481 batting average, and Ransom’s lone RBI was her team-leading 15th.

Richmond (8-0, 6-0 SAC) will travel to non-conference Marlboro Academy (16-1) on Monday, and look to stay perfect against the Lady Dragons. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.  

Kyle Pillar

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

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