SHALLOTTE — Despite two early home runs, the Richmond softball team couldn’t complete its run through the Beach Diamond Invitational with a championship.
The Lady Raiders met up with host school West Brunswick in the title game Wednesday evening and dropped a close 3-2 decision in extra innings — losing on a walk-off RBI single at the bottom of the eighth.
“(It was a) close game. The girls play hard and battled through some adversity, we just had some things that didn’t go our way tonight and just came up short,” head coach Wendy Wallace said. “Tonight’s game will help us later in the season.”
Sophomore infielder Kayla Hawkins and freshman outfielder Paige Ransom hit a couple of solo shots at the top of the second inning to give Richmond a 2-0 lead, but that momentum at the plate didn’t carry over. The team only picked up one more hit, a double from junior shortshop Savannah Lampley, in the final six innings.
West Brunswick (9-1) fought its way back into Wednesday’s game with a couple of runs at the bottom of the fifth inning and then played good enough defense to keep the Lady Raiders off the board. It finished the night with six hits.
Richmond (11-3) jumps back into conference play with two games against Lumberton next week.
BASEBALL ADVANCES TO TITLE GAME
HILTON HEAD, S.C. — Head coach Ricky Young said the Richmond baseball team needed to keep its bats swinging in order to advance to the tournament championship game, and that’s exactly what it did.
Richmond, which has won five straight, punched its ticket to the Seahawk Invitational title matchup with a 4-1 win over George Washington (WV) on Wednesday. A couple of late hits from Jake Ransom and Drew Loving sealed the deal.
“It may sound like an excuse but playing in better weather has been a big part of it,” Young said of the win streak. “We are making fewer mistakes and capitalizing on the other teams mistakes.”
The Raiders scored the game’s first two runs, gave up a run on an error, and then tacked on two more of their own at the top of the seventh — where Ransom recorded an RBI double and Loving, who pitched all seven innings, hit an RBI single.
Richmond (10-5) will play in the championship game Thursday evening.
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.