First Posted: 3/28/2013
ROCKINGHAM — Recently, Richmond Senior has had dominant power pitchers, like Maggie McKenzie or Casey Snead, it could call on in a big game.
This season, Richmond coach Wendy Wallace doesn’t have that luxury, but she believes she has three pitchers capable of shutting down the opposition.
Against Southeastern Conference rival Scotland, Wallace gave the ball to Summer Jacobs, who responded by scattering eight hits, while striking out seven in a 5-3 victory Thursday night.
“She’s going to give up some hits. She does what we need her to do,” Wallace said. “She throws a heavy ball and lets the defense go to work for her. Tonight our defense was huge. EP (Elizabeth Pittman) made two wonderful plays at second. The last one was on a line drive that if she doesn’t catch it, they score.”
The win improved Richmond to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the SEC. Scotland dropped to 4-1 in the conference and a half-game behind the Raiders in the battle for first place.
Jacobs ran into trouble right from the start of the game, allowing runners at the corners with two outs. Jacobs escaped the jam by getting her counterpart, Kenleigh Callahan, to fly out to right.
An inning later, Scotland had runners at second and third with no outs. Jacobs managed to wiggle out of trouble by allowing just a run in the frame on a wild pitch.
Jacobs credits her bread-and-butter pitch — a changeup — for helping her keep the opposition off balance.
“I just been throwing it for so long,” Jacobs said. “It was the first pitch I ever learned. Usually early in the game it doesn’t work too well because I struggle to find the release point.”
Jacobs was just as effective at the plate, going 2-for-3. The Raiders managed seven hits in the contest, but bunched them together in the first and third. Four of their five runs were scored with two outs.
“We got people on and got hits in a timely fashion tonight,” Wallace said. “She (Callahan) kept us off balance all night and she is one of the best pitchers we have faced this year. We aren’t going to get 10 to 15 hits every game.”
The Raiders scratched out the contest’s initial run in the bottom of the first. Jacobs singled with one out. Courtesy runner Haleigh Denham moved to second on a ground out and scored on Cierra Bowden’s single to center.
In the third, Jacobs was in the middle of a three-run rally. After Doddle Jacobs and Ashton Davenport reached base to open the frame, Jacobs singled to load the bases. Bailey Coulthard knocked in Richmond’s second run of the game on a sacrifice fly and Jessica Steen plated two more with a two-out single.
Richmond tacked on a single run in the fifth when Davenport scored on an error.
The Raiders will return to action 10 a.m. Monday in the West Brunswick Tournament.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.