Richmond shuts out Scotland softball

By Leon Hargrove Jr. - [email protected]

ROCKINGHAM — The Lady Raiders scored four runs — one for every senior who was recognized — in their revenge-driven victory over Scotland Thursday evening.

Scotland (8-10, 2-8) upset Richmond 6-4 two weeks ago in Laurinburg.

“We obviously wanted to finish our regular season strong,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said, “and we definitely didn’t want to lose to them twice in a season, so they came out focused.”

In the April 14 matchup, the Lady Raiders were held scoreless throughout the first four innings, essentially running out of time once their bats began to pick up.

That wasn’t the case Thursday night.

Kelsey Mabe got Richmond (17-4, 9-1) going with a lead-off triple into deep left field at the bottom of the opening inning. Five batters later, Greyson Way brought in Savannah Lampley and Doodle Jacobs with a two-run RBI.

Mabe and Carleigh Haywood opened up the second inning with back-to-back base hits.

Doodle Jacobs would then record a two-RBI double — helping her fellow seniors cross home plate.

“They (Richmond) did what they had to do,” Scotland coach Patrick Williams said. “Every inning you’re looking to get scores. The first inning, they got two. The second inning, they got two. And that was enough.”

The last four and a half innings failed to produce any runs.

“It (hitting) kind of simmered down. Their pitching, especially when they changed pitchers, they kind of got in a groove,” Wallace added. “They had a lot of change-ups that sat there and froze us, so we’ve got to make those adjustments.”

Cameron Sharpe was the starting pitcher for the Lady Scots, allowing four runs on five hits with one strikeout, but was replaced by Katie Lighthall at the bottom of the fifth inning.

Richmond was only able to get off one hit after Lighthall took the mound, as she also struck out three batters.

NaLee Jacobs stayed on the mound all game for the Lady Raiders, allowing no runs on three hits, with one base on ball and four strikeouts.

The junior pitcher’s first hit came in the top of the fifth inning on a two-out single from Scotland’s Sarah McCall. NaLee Jacobs’ first hit would have come an inning earlier if it wasn’t for Bre Baysek making a big catch in right field.

“There were one or two windows of opportunities where we could have got a score, but again, we just didn’t put the ball in play. And when you don’t put the ball in play, teams look good because you don’t put any pressure on them to make plays.”

The Lady Scots dropped six of their last seven games since defeating Richmond earlier this month, finishing the regular season as the No. 5 team in the conference. They will face Lumberton in the first round of the conference tournament.

As for the Lady Raiders, the regular season isn’t over yet.

They have one last home game against West Brunswick at 7 p.m. Monday.

Richmond will then turn its focus to the conference tournament, where it received a first-round bye because of its first-place finish.

Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow him on Twitter @_UncleLeon.

By Leon Hargrove Jr.

[email protected]

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