ROCKINGHAM — Savannah Lampley’s lead-off home run and Greyson Way’s 15-strikeout performance helped the Richmond softball team to a 1-0 win over Whiteville on Wednesday.
With the victory, the Lady Raiders picked up their first non-conference win of the season, extended their win streak to six games and handed Whiteville — who averaged 15.2 runs per game heading into the contest — its first loss on the year.
“We went in having a game plan of being able to contain big hitters,” head coach Wendy Wallace said. “Greyson’s doing a (fantastic job) — I feel like a broken record saying ‘She’s hitting her spots every night,’ but that’s what she’s been doing … We had a great umpire tonight who was giving corners, so she was able to push it out a little further and that played to our advantage.”
Way, a junior, got off to a great start at the top of the first inning, as she retired the top of the Lady Wolfpack’s lineup in order: earning her first two strikeouts at the expense of Whiteville’s Reaganne Sholar and Kiara Wilson and then forcing Kourtney Grainger to hit a pop fly into left field.
Lampley, also a junior, was the first Lady Raider to take the plate at the bottom of the inning and wasted no time putting Richmond on the scoreboard with a solo shot — her first home run of the season — that Wallace thought would set the tone for the rest of the team’s bats.
But that wasn’t the case, as Whiteville pitcher Ivy Hayes racked up three consecutive strikeouts following Lampley’s over-the-fence hit and quickly put a cap on the home team’s momentum.
“We got two strikes (at the top of the first) and then Savannah hits the home run, I’m like, ‘We’re going to have a good night,’” Wallace said. “But we ended up getting into a fast-paced game where it was strikeout, strikeout, strikeout and no base runners all game. It was probably one of the fastest games we’ll have all year.”
Both teams went three-and-out in the second and third innings. Way struck out five more batters and forced another pop fly while Hayes forced four groundouts and two fly balls across the two innings.
Whiteville (5-1) picked up its first hit of the night in the top of the fourth when Grainger hit a two-out double that made its way into deep right field before hitting the fence. Richmond had two runners (Owen Bowers and Way) reach base on back-to-back walks, but nothing materialized and they were left stranded on first and second.
The only other time the Lady Raiders had a batter get on base was when freshman Madison Jordan hit a lead-off single in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We’re better hitters than what we did tonight … I felt like we just weren’t aggressive enough at the plate,” Wallace said. “Tonight, one run was enough, but the way Greyson’s pitching this year, we should be able to get her three, four, five runs and she should be able to hold them — and she has done that so far.”
After a brief sixth inning, Whiteville drew some cheers from its fans when Grainger hit another double at the top of the seventh. Way would hush the away crowd, however, by striking out the next two batters and putting an end to the non-conference matchup.
Way pitched a full seven innings for only the third time this season, as she only gave up two hits and didn’t walk any batters. For Whiteville, Hayes allowed one run on two hits and finished with eight strikeouts and two base on balls.
Richmond (6-1) welcomes Jack Britt, who it beat 6-1 on Tuesday, to Rockingham on Friday.
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.