ROCKINGHAM — Richmond scored four runs in the first inning Thursday, and that was all the Raiders needed to finish the regular season undefeated.
Richmond cruised to a 23-0 mark with a dominant 8-1 win over Scotland. Summer Jacobs threw a complete game for the home team, limiting the Scots to just three hits. She also made a huge impact on offense, as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
Jacobs drove in the first two runs of the game with her double to deep left field in the first inning that scored Doodle Jacobs and Ashton Davenport. She had another RBI double in the next inning and an RBI single in the sixth.
Despite the landmark record, there was no celebration in the seventh inning when Jacobs caught a pop-up from Ashleigh Bailey for the game’s final out. Rather, it was business as usual for the Raiders.
“It feels good, but we’ve still got to keep our mindset because we’ve still got a lot more games to play,” Jacobs said.
The Raiders will be the No. 1 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament, which gets underway May 5. Scotland, which falls to 4-5 in the SEC, hosts Lumberton tonight at 7.
Scotland coach Patrick Williams said it will not be a problem to keep his team motivated after the loss, especially given their recent history in the tournament.
“We’ve won the conference tournament the last four years, so there’s no reason to stop now. My thing is, once the conference tournament is over the records are out the window,” Williams said. “You’ve got to take it game-by-game and get better each day.”
Williams elected to start the game with Cameron Sharpe on the mound. Sharpe pitched in this season’s previous meeting with the Raiders, and only gave up runs on an eighth-inning home run. Williams said that he started Sharpe over usual pitcher Avery Callahan in that game to catch Richmond off guard, and he was going for the same effect Thursday.
The Raiders were ready this time, as they scored five runs on four hits before Callahan came in to start the third inning. She managed to keep Richmond quiet until the sixth inning. Then Davenport hit a double to score a pair and Jacobs added her third hit.
Jacobs finished the game with three strikeouts and two walks. Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said the senior pitcher performed as expected.
“Summer pitches great every game. She goes out there and does what we ask her to do and our defense plays behind her really well, but it helps to get a four or five run lead early so it gives her a little bit of freedom,” Wallace said.
Raiders, Scots play to a tie
ROCKINGHAM — It was almost fitting that rivals Richmond and Scotland battled to a 2-all tie Thursday night at Raider Field because the same two teams will square off Monday in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Cherie Ellerbe and Nile Fisher scored for Richmond, while Jordan Lewis notched both goals for Scotland.
“Both teams had great opportunities in regulation and overtime,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “It was a typical Richmond-Scotland battle. It was back and forth.”
The Raiders are now 4-11-2 overall and 2-7-1 in the SEC.
In the junior varsity game, Richmond blanked Scotland 5-0 to finish its season with a 5-5-1 record. Kallie Hammond, Cameron Hudson, Natalie Ritter and Marilyn Gomez scored for the Raiders.
East Chapel Hill eliminates Richmond
CHAPEL HILL — East Chapel Hill rolled to a 6-0 victory over Richmond Senior in the first round of the 4A dual team tennis playoffs Thursday afternoon.
Max Smith defeated Colt Auman 6-2, 6-3 in the top singles match. Jack Devonport blanked Andrew Balzer 6-0, 6-0. Kevin Huang stopped Brandon Ingram 6-1, 6-3. Robert Bond downed John Pittman 6-2, 6-1. Josh George and Zack Ao were victorious for the Wildcats, defeating Ryan Watkins and Hill Pence by the score of 6-0, 6-0 in their singles matches.
Richmond County Daily Journal Sports editor Shawn Stinson contributed to this report