ROCKINGHAM — Senior pitchers NaLee Jacobs and Mackenzie Ward continued their consistent play on the mound Wednesday night, leading the Richmond Senior softball team to a shutout non-conference victory.
Jacobs gave up two hits and earned six strikeouts in the first four innings, while Ward only allowed one hit and struck out three batters in the final three innings. And Richmond took home a 5-0 win over Anson.
“We’re very fortunate to have two really good pitchers. Either one of them could start for anybody in our conference — pretty much anywhere,” coach Wendy Wallace said.
Jacobs struck out all three batters in the top of the second inning, earned two more in the third and recorded her last strikeout in the fourth. Ward earned her first strikeout on her first batter, Anson’s Grace Morgan, in the top of the fifth before striking out back-to-back batters in the sixth.
Both Taylor Austin and Kelsey Brown made it to second base on pitches from Jacobs in the first and third innings, respectively. Haven Jarman had a lead-off single in the top of the sixth, giving Ward her only hit of the night.
“We know we’re going to give up a few hits every once in a while, but as long as our defense plays (well), they do their jobs,” Wallace added. “They come out and they’re consistent. You can’t ask for anything more.”
Richmond led 1-0 after the first inning thanks to a fly ball from Greyson Way and an errant throw from Anson’s outfield. Savannah Lampley, who was on second base, made it to third after tagging up and then sprinted home once she saw the throw was mishandled.
Owen Bowers’ RBI single in the third inning, which brought in Lampley for her second run of the night, gave the Lady Raiders a two-run lead. Jacobs would then step up to the plate and hit her first home run of the season with Bowers and Jadyn Johnson on base.
“She’s been hitting the ball really good. I knew it was just a matter of time,” Wallace said of Jacobs’ three-run homer. “She swings the bat really well, so it’s good to have her in the lineup hitting with Greyson and Owen.
“We’re starting to hit a little more consistent, one to nine, versus expecting just two or three to hit,” Wallace added.
Lampley led the way for the Lady Raiders with two hits, while Bowers, Jacobs, Johnson and Peyton Fann each recorded one hit. Austin, Brown and Jarman were the only Lady Bearcats who had a hit on the night.
Richmond (3-1) has a quick turnaround following the win, as it hosts Jack Britt on Thursday at 6 p.m.
When Richmond and Jack Britt met in Fayetteville last Friday, the Lady Raiders earned a dominant 14-2 victory in five innings. Bowers finished with a pair of two-run homers and a 2-RBI triple. Way also hit a two-run homer in the game.
“We’ve got to come and do the little things, regardless of whether we won big last time against them. We’ve just got to play our game every day,” Wallace said.
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Richmond Senior’s Greyson Way (17) and Kayla Hawkins (10) approach the mound in order to congratulate Mackenzie Ward (9) after she struck out Anson’s Grace Morgan in the top of the fifth inning. Ward pitched the last three innings Wednesday night, only giving up one hit and striking out three batters in a 5-0 victory at home.