ROCKINGHAM — Almost the same amount of hits didn’t result in as many runs it did earlier this week, but the Richmond softball team was able to remain undefeated in conference play with another win over Hoke County on Thursday.
Seniors Brianna Baysek and Owen Bowers, and freshman Paige Ransom, each finished with two hits to lead the way in a 9-1 victory. Ransom and Baysek blasted solo shots at the bottom of the second and third innings, respectively.
Richmond, who scored 22 runs on 12 hits at Hoke on Tuesday, struck first in the bottom of the first on a base hit from Baysek that brought Bowers — who hit a single, stole second and got to third on a passed ball — home from the corner.
Hoke County (9-3, 4-3 SAC) quickly answered at the top of the second with a lead-off homer from Alexis Blackwell to tie the game early, but that was the only run it scored in the conference matchup.
Ransom’s home run broke the tie and then junior Savannah Lampley hit an RBI single to give the home team a 3-1 lead in the second. Baysek’s homer in the third was followed by singles from sophomore Kayla Hawkins and junior Taylor Parrish and a one-run single from Ransom.
Freshman Payton Chappell recorded an RBI groundout, scoring Parrish, and then Ransom came home on a passed ball — putting the Lady Raiders ahead 7-1 after three innings. They would score their last two runs in the sixth, as both Madison Jordan, sophomore, and Lampley crossed home plate on a couple of Hoke County errors.
Richmond (9-2, 8-0 SAC) will compete in the Beach Diamond Invitational at West Brunswick starting next week, opening the tournament with a game against Whiteville on Monday, April 2, at 1 p.m.
Lee throws perfect game in home shutout
ROCKINGHAM — Senior Jonathan Lee was the main attraction Thursday night, as he stood on the mound and pitched a perfect game — meaning he didn’t allow any opposing batter to reach base — in a 3-0 win over Hoke County.
Lee earned 11 strikeouts on only 73 pitches across the seven innings and didn’t give up any hits, walks or runs in the conference matchup. The senior, who signed his letter of intent to UNC-Pembroke, picked up six of his strikeouts in the first three innings.
Richmond (7-5, 4-4 SAC) scored all of its runs in the bottom of the fourth and was able to hold on to the lead this time around.
When it went to Hoke on Tuesday, it held a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third but quickly fell behind by two runs after giving up five runs on four hits — committing three errors in the process and never gaining its momentum back.
Thursday’s win was the Raiders’ second straight, however, as they snapped a three-game skid by defeating Hartsville 6-2 on Wednesday. They’ll now prepare for next week’s Seahawk Invitational at Hilton Head (S.C.), where they’re scheduled to play a first-round game on Monday, April 2.
Doubles not enough to lift boys tennis
ROCKINGHAM — Although Mason Bailey and Caleb Brewer won their third straight match as a duo, and the chemistry between Jimmy Cooley and Kevin Campos has improved, the Richmond boys tennis team was unable to grab a win Thursday afternoon.
The Raiders fell behind during the singles and needed to win all three doubles in order to pull off a comeback. They could only win two of the three, however, and dropped a 5-4 decision to Jack Britt at home.
“Great effort by our guys today,” head coach Patrick Hope said.
Bailey and Brewer, both juniors, kept their streak going with a triumph over Britt’s Jevon White and Tyler Maddox in the No. 3 doubles, while Cooley and Campos escaped Rithik Penmatcha and Reeve Williams at the No. 2 spot. Freshman Bradford Pittman (No. 6) and senior Kristofer Spivey (No. 4) won their singles over Williams and White, respectively.
Richmond (4-6, 4-5 SAC) will be back in action on Tuesday, April 10, when it hosts Hoke County.
Ellerbe soccer teams pick up a win
ELLERBE — It was an eventful few days for the Ellerbe Middle School boys and girls soccer teams, who both traveled to Rockingham and then hosted Anson to close the week of play.
The boys team team (1-2-1) got back on track, after losing its first two games, by routing Anson 5-1 two days after playing the Rockets to a 1-1 draw. Rolando Contreras netted the lone goal against Rockingham and was one of five players (Brian Cortes, Douglas Recinos-Mendoza, Bryan Morales, Henry Zapata) who scored versus Anson.
The Lady Wildcats (3-1) lost their first game of the season at Rockingham, a 3-0 loss, but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Anson. Juliana Gonzales and Melissa Morale scored the two goals for the girls.
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.