ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond softball team, after three quiet innings, exploded for almost a dozen runs in the last two innings in order to take down Purnell Swett 11-1 in the teams’ conference opener Thursday evening.
Junior Greyson Way’s lead-off homer at the bottom of the fourth was the hit that gave the Lady Raiders a new life, as her solo shot led to both sophomore Kayla Hawkins and senior Brianna Baysek reaching base. Four bats later, freshman Madison Jordan brought home Hawkins and Baysek with a 2-RBI double and gave the home team a 3-1 lead.
“We did start off a little slow, but we knew once we got some hits going that we would be OK,” head coach Wendy Wallace said. “We’ve been hitting a lot in practice since last week … so it was good to see several of them get good, solid hits tonight.”
Richmond (1-1, 1-0 SAC) racked up six hits in the victory, five more than it did in last week’s loss to Marlboro Academy (S.C.), with Way’s two hits — the other being an RBI single in the fifth inning — leading all batters. Jordan, senior Owen Bowers, sophomore Jadyn Johnson and junior Taylor Parrish each finished with one hit.
Purnell Swett (1-1, 0-1 SAC) was forced to change pitchers in the bottom of the fifth after junior Jaileana Deese walked four batters and gave up three runs on two hits. Freshman pitcher Torrie Butler came in to relieve her but couldn’t get the Lady Rams out of the inning, as Richmond scored five more runs in order to end the match early.
After Way’s RBI single got junior Savannah Lampley to cross home plate, Parrish recorded one of her own — which brought in Way — and gave the home team a 6-1 lead. The next four runs would be scored by Baysek (bases-loaded), Parrish (passed ball), and Jordan and Chappell (Johnson groundout).
Lampley, in her second at-bat of the inning, was walked and then stole second and third to put the Lady Raiders in a great position. She would slide into home plate for the game-winning run after Butler threw a wild pitch.
Richmond and Purnell Swett will turn right back around and play one another Friday evening.
“They’ll come in fresh tomorrow and so will we,” Wallace said. “Hopefully we can carry over how we hit later in the game (tonight) and we’ll be a little more comfortable at the plate. I think that’ll be a postive for us.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.