LAURINBURG — Runs were scarce in Scotland’s softball tilt against visiting Pinecrest on Tuesday, but it was the Patriots that managed just enough offense to escape Laurinburg with a one-run victory.
Pinecrest pitcher Jordan Blake allowed just five hits and one run in seven innings of work as the Patriots outlasted the Scots 2-1 to keep their undefeated season in tact.
Pinecrest (8-0, 2-0 SEC) fell behind in the first inning, but bounced back with two runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good. The defense behind Blake was the difference in the contest as they consistently made the routine plays and didn’t commit any untimely fielding mistakes.
“The team that would make the least amount of mistakes would win the game, and looking back on it I don’t think they had any errors. We just had some at some crucial times,” said Scotland head coach Patrick Williams. “I thought we hit it well, but we hit it to people.”
Scotland pitcher Sarah McCall took the loss despite giving up just two runs, one of which was earned.
The Scots drew first blood in the opening frame when Debra Kyle notched an RBI groundout to plate Ashlyn Dial. Dial reached base with a single, then stole second and third before crossing home plate.
But it was the last time the hosts cracked the scoreboard.
Pinecrest answered with a pair of runs in the second inning — Alexis Sales reached home after a passed ball, then Erica Groff doubled to plate Bri Embler.
“They’re a team that lives off of speed, they just want to get kids on base and have a little chaos and put pressure on their opponent by just running,” Williams said of the Patriots’ helter-skelter style of play.
Scotland’s best chance to possibly tie the game or take the lead came in the bottom of the sixth when runners reached second and third, but Blake got out of the jam after Kelsey Smith popped up to center.
The Scots return to the diamond Thursday to host Hoke.
Baseball picks up 1st SEC win
The Scotland baseball team opened its conference slate with 6-3 victory over Purnell Swett Tuesday night.
Purnell Swett (6-3, 0-1 SEC) scored the first three runs of the game to take the early lead, but Scotland’s Donta Green answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to tie it.
“We always talk about our six through nine hitters making things happen and being a spark and they did that,” Scotland head coach Chad Hill said. “The top of the order did what they should do and a huge hit by Donta kind of led to six unanswered runs.”
Aaron Locklear hit the eventual go-ahead run for the Scots in the bottom of the third inning, then the Scots added a pair of scores later in the frame to double their advantage. A passed ball and a Purnell Swett error led to the runs.
Scotland (7-2, 1-0) shut out Purnell Swett the rest of the way to secure the win. The two schools will meet again Thursday in Pembroke.
“We knew they were going to swing it, for us to hold them to three runs and nothing after the second inning is pretty impressive,” Hill said.
Matthias Carter tallied three hits, and Matthew Strickland added a pair of base hits for the Rams.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.