ROCKINGHAM — After picking up two wins in four games over the break, junior catcher Owen Bowers and sophomore infielder Greyson Way now sit at the top of the Richmond Senior softball record books.
Way broke the single-season record for home runs with her 11th homer of the year in a victory over South Central in the D.H. Conley Easter Tournament on Monday. That home run, which was Way’s 18th of her career, tied Bowers for the most home runs in a career.
Bowers hit her 18th career homer in a 12-3 win at Purnell Swett late last month.
“Greyson and Owen are both gamechangers every time they come up to the plate,” coach Wendy Wallace said following the victory in Pembroke. “It’s always nice to have that.”
The Lady Raiders duo has used its strong bats to propel Richmond to a 17-3 overall record, and an undefeated record in conference, heading into the final week of the regular season.
Bowers is second on the team this season with 26 hits, 23 RBIs, seven home runs and a .473 batting average. The junior had one of her best games at Jack Britt in early March, where she started things off with a 2-RBI triple and finished with a pair of two-run homers.
She would also come up big with a third-inning RBI single in a 1-0 win over Lumberton at home earlier this month.
“In the 10 years I’ve been here, there’s not many hitters that I have given the green light with a 3-0 count — but Owen’s aggressive,” Wallace said. “And she’s done a really good job this year with the fact that teams aren’t giving her a lot of pitches. So, she’s taking the walks when she needs to.”
Which is something, Wallace says, Way has been learning over the past several games. Pitchers aren’t willing to give up big hits and she’s being forced to be patient. Despite that, however, Way leads the team with her 11 home runs and 29 RBIs. She also has 21 hits on the year.
The sophomore went 4-4 and hit two homers in the season opener, recorded a pair of three-run homers in win over Hoke County and blasted two more home runs in the second meeting with conference foe Purnell Swett.
“They’re just big hitters,” Wallace added. “I feel like teams that have seen us, they’re going to try and pitch around them (Bowers and Way) and make somebody else beat them.
“Which is good for NaLee (Jacobs) and Bri (Baysek) because they hit right behind them,” she continued. “They’ve done an excellent job.”
Jacobs has been consistent at the plate and in the circle all season, while Baysek has come on strong with a handful of timely hits in the past month.
Sophomore infielder Savannah Lampley has been another reliable bat for the Lady Raiders. She has a team-high 32 hits on the year and combined to go 7-8 in the team’s final two games of the Easter tournament.
Those three batters — along with the others in lineup — may not hit as many home runs as their record-breaking teammates, but Wallace has always talked about how important they are to the team’s success. It’s crucial that they’re comfortable at the plate and are ready to step up when Bowers and Way are getting pitched around or struggling.
“Their base hits at a key time are just as big,” Wallace said. “If they’re in the lineup, I expect them to produce. I know they have that capability.”
Richmond closes out the regular season with two games against Scotland next week before likely earning a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. With postseason play in the near future, both Bowers and Way will be looking to add to their home-run totals.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.