LUMBERTON — The runs came in bunches for the Lumberton softball team on Wednesday night.
The Pirates scored multiple runs in four innings and put the pressure on the Scotland defense by putting the ball in play during their 10-2 win to advance to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
“Everybody’s got to be on their toes and ready to make a play,” said Scotland coach Patrick Williams after the defeat. “Hats off to them because they came out swinging the stick. They put the pressure on us to make plays and we didn’t make plays when plays needed to be made.”
Lumberton led 5-0 after three innings before Scotland pushed across a run in the top of the fourth inning.
After leaving a runner stranded at second base with no outs in the second inning, the Scots made adjustments and scored on a similar situation in the fourth. Macie Gibson led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a ground out. Cameron Sharpe scored Gibson on a sacrifice fly to center field in the next at bat.
“It’s just one of those situations where we’ve got to buy into what we’re trying to do, execute what we’re trying to do and just continue to work,” Williams said.
Lumberton scored seven runs in the first three innings with the first two coming off an error by Ashlyn Dial on a throw to first.
“It all comes down to the routine play,” Williams said. “A missed ball here and a dropped fly there and before you know it they’re crossing the plate.
“It’s been one of those seasons where if something bad can happen, it will happen.”
The Lady Scots scratched across another run in top of the seventh as Debra Kyle scored from second on an error by Morgan Britt on a throw to first base on an infield ground out.
Madison Canady capped off a three-run sixth inning for Lumberton with a two-run homer to left field to follow up an RBI double by Randi Bullard.
Scotland’s Dial, Sharpe and Kyle each had a hit. Katie Lighthall allowed seven runs on four hits in her four innings for the Lady Scots in the circle.
Canady had five RBIs for Lumberton, which plays at Richmond today with a spot in the SEC title game on the line.
Meanwhile, Scotland likely sees its season come to an end. At 8-11 overall and 2-8 in conference play, the Scots finished tied for last in the SEC regular-season standings and it is doubtful Williams’ squad will earn an at-large bid to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.