Contributed by Keith Parsons
EDEN — A rally in the seventh inning came up short and the Rockingham All-Star Belles dropped to the loser’s bracket with a 10-8 loss to Burgaw on Sunday in the North Carolina Dixie Youth State Softball Tournament.
Rockingham pushed across three runs in its final at-bat to make it interesting, but Savannah Lampley lined out to center to end it. Greyson Way and Mackenzie Webb split the pitching duties for Rockingham.
“Greyson and Mackenzie pitched well but we made eight errors between eight different players,” coach Danny Lampley said. “This was one of those games you hope you never have defensively, or on the base paths. Nothing went right. We banged out 11 hits for eight runs but our defense wasn’t up to par.”
Peyton Fann (three RBIs), Owen Bowers (two RBIs) and Macie Gibson (one RBI) each had two hits for Lampley’s squad. Way, Webb, NaLee Jacobs, Lindsay Hunter and Cher Morse all had one hit.
Rockingham took its only lead at 2-1 with two runs in the second inning. Emily Parsons walked and moved to second on a wild pitch before Hunter sacrificed her to third. Morse reached on an infield hit and stole second, then Fann brought in Parsons with a groundout.
That moved Morse to third, and a nifty bunt hit by Bowers sent her across with the go-ahead run.
In the fourth, after Burgaw took a 3-2 lead, Webb laced a two-out single to left to bring home Lampley with the tying run. But Burgaw scored seven runs in the bottom half to take a commanding 10-3 lead, and the margin still was six runs headed to the seventh.
With one out, Hunter walked, Morse singled and Fann got on with an infield hit to load the bases. Bowers grounded out to short on an oh-so-close play at first for the second out, and Hunter scored to make it 10-5.
Way ripped a two-run double to the fence in left-center — scoring Morse and Fann to make it 10-7 — and Gibson brought home Way with a single to cut the deficit to two.
Unfortunately, Savannah Lampley’s liner failed to drop in, sending Rockingham to an 11:30 a.m. game Monday against Garner. The winner will continue in the tournament, the loser will go home.
“Burgaw has a decent team, but we make the routine plays and the score could’ve been 8-1,” Danny Lampley said. “I, as their coach take the blame. I need to have them better prepared.”
Angels stop Montgomery County
EDEN — The Rockingham Angels All-Stars bounced back from its first deficit of the postseason, using a six-run fourth inning to beat Montgomery County 8-3 Sunday in the North Carolina Dixie Youth Softball State Tournament.
Rockingham plays Dunn at 2 p.m. on Monday.
After Montgomery County scored three runs in the fourth to go ahead 3-2, Rockingham bounced back thanks to some well-placed bunts and timely hitting.
Kenleigh Frye single to lead off before Allyiah Swiney and Jakerra Covington each reached on a bunt load the bases. Payton Chappell then tripled to bring home the go-ahead runs, and she came home on a single by Mattie Liles.
That made it 6-3, and Shayann Byrd and Taylor Young added run-scoring hits to account for the final margin. Kearston Bruce added a key bunt in the inning.
Morgan Singletary, Bruce and Chappell combined on a one-hitter to pitch around 10 total walks.