ROCKINGHAM — Spring Break is the time to kick back, relax and enjoy some time off, right?
Well, that’s not the case for a handful of Richmond Senior athletes who are scheduled to compete during the 10-day recess. For the school’s baseball and softball teams, this span has the potential to be the most crucial time of the year.
Richmond’s baseball team snapped a four-game losing skid with a 7-2 win over Pincrest on Thursday and will look to ride that momentum into its first-round game against South View in the Terry Sanford Invitational on Saturday.
“We love to play during the break,” baseball coach Ricky Young said. “We’ve always liked to play in good tournaments and use that to help propel us into the rest of the year.”
The Raiders started the year off by winning their first five games and then experienced another 5-game win streak in the middle of the season — which included an undefeated start in conference play.
But things quickly went downhill after the team lost by seven runs at Purnell Swett last month. Richmond then followed that performance up with back-to-back losing efforts to Lumberton and a complete meltdown at Pinecrest earlier this week.
Young, who said the team lacked intensity throughout the four-game span, said the team played with much more effort in Thursday’s win and expects it to help the team as they approach the final stretch.
“We always talk about wanting to play well at the end of the year,” he said. “So, we hope we’ve put that little bump in the road behind us and we can use this (win) as a springboard.”
The Lady Raiders softball team will take a break from facing conference opponents during Spring Break, as it will play in the D.H. Conley Easter Tournament this weekend.
Richmond will face D.H. Conley on Saturday and then battle South Central and Bertie on Monday. It will also host Whiteville on Wednesday.
“It’s a good chance to go and see different types of competition,” softball coach Wendy Wallace said. “The type of pitching that we’re going to see this weekend is going to be the type of playoff pitching that we see. And I think that’s just going to help us finish strong.”
The Lady Raiders have only dropped one game so far this season — an eighth-inning loss to Marlboro Academy in early March — and will be putting their 14-game win streak on the line.
“I think it’ll be good for us to stay in stride. We don’t want to take a break,” Wallace added. “We want to continue to get better, keep taking our reps and doing what we do in order to stay focus on the last part of the season.”
Aside from an early Saturday morning track meet in Charlotte, the other four spring sports (boys golf, boys tennis, girls soccer, track) will not be competing next week.
An unexpected cancellation of the girls soccer game at Seventy-First this past week gave coach Bennie Howard and his team a little more time off.
When school is back in session, the girls soccer team will be looking to end the season with wins at Pinecrest and Scotland. The Lady Raiders were enjoying a four-game win streak before falling to Lumberton on Wednesday.
“Years ago we used to play in a tournament, but soccer doesn’t really do Easter tournaments like baseball and softball. And I wish they would,” Howard said. “We just rely on our skills to get us through the first part of the week when we get back.”
The boys golf squad will compete at Pinehurst (Apr. 24) before NCHSAA Regionals begin at the beginning of May. The boys tennis team has to get ready for the SEC tournament at Hoke (Apr. 25), while the boys and girls track teams prepare for the conference championship meet at UNC Pembroke (Apr. 25).
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.