Jacobs leads the way for Raiders in opener

By Shawn Stinson Sports editor

May 14, 2014

ROCKINGHAM — There is an old adage of walks will come back to haunt you.

Both starting pitchers combined to issue 11 base on balls in the 4A first round matchup between Richmond Senior and Clayton.

In the end, only one ended up needing an exorcism. The other recovered from their wildness to hurl a no-hitter.

Summer Jacobs bounced back from walking the bases loaded in the first to record the “no-no” and lead the Raiders to a 10-0 win in five innings.

Richmond (26-0) will advance to face Jack Britt in the second round. Game time is set for 6 p.m. Saturday. Jack Britt knocked off New Bern 13-2 Tuesday night in its opening game. The Raiders swept the season series with the Buccaneers, winning 8-4 in eight innings in Hope Mills and 10-1 in Rockingham.

“In the first inning I was struggling a little bit,” Jacobs said. “It was nervousness.”

As Jacobs was finding her stride in the pitching circle, Bailey Perdue never seemed comfortable. Perdue walked six, allowed six hits and seven runs — four earned — in four innings. All seven of Richmond’s runs against Perdue came with two outs.

“We need some different things in practice yesterday,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “We put runners on second and third with no outs and two outs. If they left them, they had to run poles. If they drove them in, they were rewarded. The last couple of games we left too many runners on base.”

Jacobs, in her addition to her pitching gem, had three hits and four runs batted in. Davis had a hit and two RBIs, while three others drove in a run for the Raiders.

“We played well,” Wallace said. “The defense played well and Summer got out of some jams. She pitched well enough to win tonight.”

After walking Kortnie Blanchard to load the bases in the first, Jacobs retired the next 10 Comet batters she faced and was cruising. That is until the fifth, when her wildness got her into another jam.

Perdue walked to open the frame and after a pop out, Kayla Marshburn drew another walk. Then Clayton ran itself into an unusual double play. Lindsey Hodge struck out on a ball in dirt. Because there was a runner occupying first, Hodge was out, but Perdue and Marshburn attempted to advance on the play. Richmond catcher Jennifer Steen fired to ball to third as Perdue retreated to second, but Marshburn ventured too far off first. Doodle Jacobs threw across the infield to Jessica Steen to double Marshburn up for the final out.

That was the last time the Comets (12-8) would get to bat as the Raiders scored three times in the bottom of the frame to close out the contest.

In another softball playoff game involving a team from the Southeastern Conference, Scotland defeated Laney 7-4. Scotland will take on undefeated Cape Fear in the second round.

Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.