Belles run away with district title

R’ham uses 7-run sixth inning to eliminate West Stanley

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Photo gallery – more than 600 photos

TROY — When it came to close calls, things went Rockingham’s way on Sunday against West Stanly in the 13-15 District All-Star game.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rockingham third baseman Macie Gibson applies the tag to Heather Carpentey for the first out in the bottom of the first inning. Carpenter drove in Kailynn Lilly with the hit to knot the game 1-1.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rockingham third baseman Macie Gibson applies the tag to Heather Carpenter for the first out in the bottom of the first inning. Carpenter drove in Kailynn Lilly with the hit to knot the game 1-1.

And second base? It belonged to the Belles.

Rockingham use timely hitting, a healthy mix of big hits and small sacrifices — each at the right time — and solid defense to overwhelm West Stanly 13-3 for the district title.

The Belles, who outscored their opponents 38-3 in three postseason games, advance to the state tournament next month. Rockingham also beat West Stanly on Saturday in an early round matchup of the double elimination tournament.

Through the first five innings on Sunday, it appeared as if West Stanly would make a game of it and force both teams to play all seven innings — possibly more. Then something funny happened on the way to the top of the sixth inning. The Belles’ bats came alive.

Greyson Way led off the frame with a walk. Macie Gibson struck out, but reached first base safely when West Stanly’s catcher couldn’t hang onto the ball. Savannah Lampley bunted for what could have been at least one out — but wasn’t. Clinging to a 6-3 lead heading into the inning, Lampley’s bunt drove in Way. NaLee Jacobs followed with an RBI single to left field for an 8-3 advantage. Tori Mabe bunted to drive in Gibson for a 9-3 lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Safe at home.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Safe at home.

The route was on. Whatever momentum West Stanly had clung to was gone. Mackenzie Webb walked and after Kyle McDonald struck out, Lindsay Hunter laced a two-run double to left to put the Belles up 12-3. Cher Morse singled to put Rockingham up by 10 and Jacobs, on the mound, retired West Stanly 1-2-3 to end the game early.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Early on, however, it appeared the game would be anything but a blowout.

The Belles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as first baseman Lindsey Hunter singled to center to lead off the game, then stole second base. Two outs later, clean-up hitter Owen Bowers hit a grounder between third base and short stop to score Hunter.

West Stanly answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Kailynn Lilly walked and stole second, then Heather Carpenter singled to left to score Lilly. But Carpenter was thrown out trying to advance to third and the next two batters went down swinging.

In the top of the second, Gibson’s bunt single put her on first base. Lampley hit into a fielder’s choice that moved Gibson to third. Jacobs made the move pay off when her sacrifice fly to center field scored Gibson.

The Belles added two more runs in their half of the third inning — all with two outs. Hunter roped a single to left and reached second on an error. Morris followed with an RBI double to left to put Rockingham up 3-1. The next batter struck out but reached first when the catcher couldn’t hang onto the third strike. Serving as a distraction, Morris rounded the bases and slid safely into home for a 4-1 Belles lead.

West Stanly cut the lead by one in the bottom of the third.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The Belles stole second base almost at will Sunday against West Stanly.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The Belles stole second base almost at will Sunday against West Stanly.

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Sports

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
  • Kristie W

    Way to go, girls!!! You make me so proud!!!

  • Shannon Bowers

    Awesome game! Thanks to peedeepost.com for caring enough to cover the story!!

  • Sheila Quinn

    These girls are amazing—not only as athletes but as students and young women. Thanks Pee Dee Post for your coverage of these games.

© 2020 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.