Chemistry keeps Raiders on winning path

By Shawn Stinson

March 19, 2014

Shawn Stinson

Sports editor

ROCKINGHAM — With a lineup that features five seniors, three juniors and a sophomore, it isn’t surprising the Richmond Senior softball team is off to a 7-0 start this season.

The Raiders returned five all-Southeastern Conference selections from last season’s 21-4 team, but lost Cierra Bowden, the conference’s player of the year, to graduation.

Before the season started Richmond coach Wendy Wallace was concerned about finding someone to replace Bowden’s production in the middle of the lineup. She said she would go with the hot bat in right field and so far Chelsea Davis has produced. Davis has homered in two out of the last three games.

Wallace is seeing signs this team could make a deep run in the playoffs, but knows there is still plenty of games to be played.

“Our goal is to go as far as we can,” Wallace said. “We’ve got experience, but it is also what they do everyday. No one is going to hand us anything.”

Following last week’s win over Jack Britt, senior shortstop Ashton Davenport stressed the team’s chemistry is the key component that has allowed Richmond to get off to the quick start. Davenport, along with Summer Jacobs, are four-year varsity players. Hunter Parks as well as Jennifer and Jessica Steen have all been on the varsity roster for three years.

Jessica Steen echoed Davenport’s comments as the Raiders prepared for today’s non-conference clash with West Montgomery.

“We have a lot of chemistry and confidence in each other,” she said. “Last year was last year, we are just focusing on this year. We worked a little harder this year in the off-season. I think we prepared a little more. This is our last year being together for us seniors.”

Davenport believes having played with several of her teammates for two, three or more seasons will be beneficial especially on defense. Sophomore third baseman Doodle Jacobs started as a freshman and junior Katie Satterfield saw spot duty at second last year.

“That’s big because everybody knows where everybody is going to be,” Davenport said. “I know Doodle’s range and she knows mine. I also know Hunter’s range when I’m going out on a pop-up.”

Richmond will open SEC play 7 p.m. Friday at Hoke.

Raiders-Rams postponed again

ROCKINGHAM — For the second straight day the Richmond-Chesterfield baseball game was postponed.

The teams will try to play 6 p.m. today in Chesterfield, S.C.

The Raiders (3-2-1) will look to snap its two-game losing streak which started when the Rams claimed a 6-5 victory March 12 at Raider Field.

Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.