ROCKINGHAM — Without head coach Wendy Wallace, who missed Tuesday’s game due to sickness, junior pitcher Greyson Way and the Richmond softball team still managed to grab their third consecutive mercy-rule victory.
In just her fourth game as the team’s ace, Way threw her first career no-hitter in a 10-0 home win over Pinecrest. The UNC-Greensboro commit finished with eight strikeouts and retired the opposing batters in order in the last four innings.
“It feels good just to know that all the hard work is paying off, but I couldn’t have done it without my defense behind me,” Way said. “I’m just thankful that I have people backing me up so I can just do my part.”
Assistant coach Shellie Wimpey filled in for Wallace on Tuesday and said the win was “just another step” the team took in its quest to finish undefeated in conference play for the second straight season.
There are improvements that still need to be made, however, before the Lady Raiders can reach that goal.
“I thought they played well,” Wimpey said. “Something we have to work on is being consistent at the plate. Sometimes we’ll come up and look not so good in the first at-bat, look great in the second, and then not so good in the third.
“So that’s just something I think we kind of need to work on,” she continued, “not trying to do too much when we get to the plate, staying inside ourselves and doing what we do.”
Richmond got on the board early thanks to sophomore Kayla Hawkins, who hit a sacrifice fly into left field that brought home junior Savannah Lampley in the first inning. Lampley was the lead-off batter and the first of three consecutive base on balls from Pinecrest’s Gracie Hough.
After Way quickly took down the Lady Patriots batters at the top of the second, senior Owen Bowers hit her first home run of the season, a two-run shot, to put the home team ahead three runs while facing two outs.
Freshman Paige Ransom one-upped Bowers in the third with a three-run shot that gave Richmond a 6-0 advantage. Payton Chappell, freshman, almost had a home run of her own on the next at-bat but was denied her first career homer by a Pinecrest outfielder who caught the ball right before it dropped just outside of the fence.
Back-to-back hits from junior Taylor Parrish and sophomore Madison Jordan put the home team ahead 9-0 in the fourth inning. Parrish had the bases loaded and responded with an RBI single. Jordan replaced Ransom in the lineup and hit a 2-RBI double.
“She did a great job of coming in, keeping her hands back and driving the ball,” Wimpey said of Jordan. “She really stepped up and that was good to see.”
Senior Brianna Baysek drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single at the bottom of the fifth. It was her second hit of the night, the first being a double that preceeded Ransom’s home run in the third inning.
Richmond (3-1, 3-0 SAC) and Pinecrest (2-2, 2-1 SAC) will face off again on Friday in Southern Pines.
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.