ROCKINGHAM — The collective sigh of relief from the Richmond Senior dugout Saturday night meant one thing — the end of the jinx.
When Savannah Spell’s pop-up dropped into the waiting glove of Katie Satterfield, Richmond moved into the third round of the state 4A playoffs after five previous attempts since 2006.
Summer Jacobs tossed a three-hit shutout and Doodle Jacobs backed up that performance with three hits and two RBIs in a 5-0 win over Jack Britt.
Summer Jacobs was more proud of her performance against Jack Britt than she was of her no-hitter in the opening round against Clayton. Jacobs issued five walks against the Comets.
“I worked on my mechanics. I was leaning back,” she said of her uncharacteristic wildness Wednesday.
Fixing her delivery during practice leading up to the clash with the Buccaneers paid off as she didn’t allow a walk and retired the final 13 batters she faced.
“Before the game I told her, ‘You do your job and we will get you runs,’” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “She worked hard during the two days we had off. Her change-up was working well tonight.”
The majority of the runs Wallace was saying her team was going to give their pitcher came in the second inning. Richmond used two walks and three singles to score four times off Jack Britt starter Stephanie Thomas.
Katie Satterfield opened the frame with a single. After a pop out, Hunter Parks and Jennifer Steen both walked to load the bases. Thomas settled down to strike out Haleigh Denham before Doodle Jacobs singled to left to score Satterfield. Ashton Davenport followed with a two-run single to chase home Parks and courtesy runner Bre McKinnon.
Richmond (27-0) tacked on another run in the fourth on a Doodle Jacobs’ double to score Parks.
Wallace was happy to get past the Buccaneers for the third time this season, but thought her team’s offense came in spurts, leaving eight on base.
“We did enough to win and I’ll take it,” Wallace said. “But we left a lot of runners on.”
Ashley heading to Rockingham
Ashley is one of the teams that ended Richmond’s playoff run in the second round. That matchup came in 2010.
Ashley enters tonight’s clash with a 17-9 record and knocked off Harnett Central 6-4 in the opening round before stopping South View 7-3.
“They’re a good program,” Wallace said. “They’re going to be a good defensive team.”
Wallace added she believes the Screaming Eagles and the Raiders might be mirror images of each other — good defense, good pitching and timely hitting.
Wallace said Ashley leadoff hitter Taylor Carter is just like Doodle Jacobs, a slap hitter, who can also hit for power if needed. Schae Dickson, the No. 3 hitter, will provide some pop in the middle of order. She has seven doubles and a team-leading 17 RBIs according to Maxpreps.com. Bailey Williams has two of the Screaming Eagles’ three home runs.
Lauren Brooks, Carter and Dickson all had two hits in the win over Harnett Central. Carter knocked in two and Brooks on a double and a run batted in. Against South View, Carter and Williams both had two hits, while Dickson had a double.
The winner will face either Cape Fear (23-0) or Pine Forest (14-9) in the fourth round.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.