Spartan HRs eliminate Raiders

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 800 images
* Round 3: Raiders 10, Trojans 4
* Round 2: Raiders, 5, Scotland 3 in extras
* Round 1: Raiders 14, Sabres 1
* Class 4A softball bracket

HUDSON — The Raider Magic ran out.

At least for one season. At least for one night. Even Carleigh Haywood’s one-out single up the middle in the top of the seventh inning wasn’t enough to spark a comeback.

On Friday night, the No. 5 Richmond Raiders were down 5-2 against top-seeded South Caldwell and they stayed down. South Caldwell remained undefeated this season with a 5-2 victory over visiting Richmond in the fourth round of the North Carolina Class 4A West Region tournament.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Teammates greet Makayla Carver after her two-run home run in the bottom of the third gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Teammates greet Makayla Carver after her two-run home run in the bottom of the third gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead.

It was a pitchers’ duel for two and one-half innings of the 84-minute ballgame — NaLee Jacobs for the Raiders and Madison Bumgarner for the Spartans. Bumgarner had struck out five over the first three frames while Jacobs had nearly matched her pitch for pitch by striking out three in two innings.

The bottom of the third inning started innocently enough as Jacobs forced Madison Burch into a fly ball to Haywood at short. Then Jacobs walked bottom-of-the-order second baseman Olivia Spencer. Leadoff hitter Makayla Carver made Jacobs pay for the four-ball miscue by sending a screamer over the left field fence for a 2-0 lead.

Lauren Huffman’s solo homer leading off the bottom of the fourth upped the Spartans’ lead to 3-0.

“Take the two home runs away, you’r back in the ballgame,” coach Wendy Wallace said of two pitches.

But if anything is true in softball, it’s that momentum can shift as quickly as a single pitch.

In the top of the fifth, the Raiders began swinging their bats as coach Wendy Wallace expected them to do from the outset. Peyton Fann laced a solid single to center, Caroline Wilson knocked a hard-hit single to left and Haywood loaded the bases with a shot to short that counted for an infield single.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Haleigh Denham reacts as Spartans right fielder Blake Gosnell crashes into the outfield fence to haul in a deep fly to lead off the fifth inning.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Haleigh Denham reacts as Spartans right fielder Blake Gosnell crashes into the outfield fence to haul in a deep fly to lead off the fifth inning.

The Spartans coach headed to the mound to visit his pitcher. It also was a delaying tactic that, at least for a half inning, didn’t work. Raider leadoff specialist Kelsey Mabe smacked a two-run single to pull Richmond within 3-2 and Doodle Jacobs reached on an error. With Mabe at second, Jacobs at first and Haywood at third, the bases were loaded with only one out.

But the wind, and momentum, shifted again. Senior Katie Satterfield walloped a fly ball. Center fielder Makayla Carver hauled in the catch for the second out and blazed a fastball to catcher Huffman to nab Haywood at home.

The Spartans added an insurance run in the fourth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Bumgarner, scoring Blake Gosnell.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Richmond catcher Owen Bowers applies the tag to the Spartans' Blake Gosnell at home to complete an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the third.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Richmond catcher Owen Bowers applies the tag to the Spartans’ Blake Gosnell at home to complete an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the third.

 

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