Sweet Sixteen

By Scott Schlaufman The Robesonian

April 16, 2014

PEMBROKE — Early in the season, the Richmond Senior softball team set its sights big.

The first part of the goal came to fruition Wednesday with a 12-0 win in six innings at Purnell Swett that clinched a share of the Southeastern Conference championship for the Raiders (15-0, 7-0 SEC) and guaranteed a playoff spot in the process.

“We came in with our goals set to win the conference, win the conference tournament, make a run through the playoffs and hopefully take it all the way,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “We’re taking it one game at a time and one goal at a time, so we’re happy. We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Richmond took care of things early with a two-pronged attack. The Raiders combined for 17 hits, four for extra bases, as Summer Jacobs quickly went through the Purnell Swett (6-9, 4-4) lineup.

Jacobs allowed only three hits and none of the four Rams that reached made it past second base.

“I don’t have a complaint at all about tonight,” Wallace said.

Richmond found rallies throughout the game.

After fly out to start the game, the Raiders got five hits in a row, starting with Ashton Davenport and ending with Chelsea Davis, to go up 3-0.

In the second inning, Purnell Swett got the first two batters out, but an error due to injury set the pace for another three-run inning.

Davenport hit a grounder to the left side of the field and Swett first baseman Alysa Hunt lost the ball in the sun behind her. The throw caught Hunt on the bottom of the chin, causing her to bleed and leave the game. Four hits later, Richmond was up 6-0.

“That injury at first base was the turning point for us,” said Purnell Swett coach William Deese. “We never did overcome that.”

The Raiders had lone runs in the third and fifth before putting it away with a four-run seventh inning.

Their 17 hits were largely seeing-eye singles to the gaps or shallow parts of the field. The first nine hits were singles until Haleigh Denham hit a double in the third inning.

Six Raiders finished with multi-hit games, led by Katie Satterfield, who went 3-for-4 with one of the team’s four doubles. Jacobs also went 2-for-4 with a double.

Purnell Swett’s Sequoia Locklear took the loss, throwing the complete game. Her defense had four errors.

“We usually struggle with slow pitchers but the last few days we’ve been working on slower pitchers and it paid off,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs credited her off-speed pitches with keeping Purnell Swett off-balance. She finished with seven strikeouts, three in the bottom of the fifth.

It’s the first game in two days for the Raiders, who play at Lumberton today.