Contributed by Keith Parsons
EDEN — NaLee Jacobs and Lindsay Hunter combined on a one-hitter and the Rockingham All-Star Belles scored nine runs in its final two at-bats to beat Garner 10-0 Monday afternoon in the North Carolina Dixie Softball State Tournament.
The game was stopped in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Rockingham stays alive with one loss in the double-elimination tournament and plays Burgaw, the final remaining unbeaten team, at 1 p.m. today. Eden and West Brunswick each have one loss, as well, and those two teams play at 11:30 a.m.
Garner’s lone hit was a bunt single as Jacobs and Hunter dominated from the start on the mound. And the Rockingham defense that committed eight errors a day earlier in a loss to Burgaw played flawlessly behind its pitchers.
“Our pitching was really good today, and our defense was polar opposite from yesterday’s — zero errors,” Rockingham coach Danny Lampley said.
Still, Garner trailed only 1-0 until the fourth inning. Peyton Fann led off with a walk for Rockingham and moved up a base on a groundout by Owen Bowers. Greyson Way then launched a line drive off the base of the fence in left for a double that brought in Fann, and Way came home on a single by Macie Gibson. After Savannah Lampley reached on an error, Jacobs doubled to the gap in left-center to score Gibson and Lampley to make it 5-0.
Tori Mabe got on after another Garner error and Mackenzie Webb plated Jacobs with a long sacrifice fly to left. Kylie McDonald delivered an RBI single to score Jacobs and Emily Parsons singled to load the bases before the third Garner error of the inning, on a pop fly by Cher Morse, allowed McDonald to cross the plate to increase the lead to 8-0.
Then in the fifth, Bowers and Way walked and moved up on Gibson’s sacrifice bunt. Lampley lined a single to left to score both runners, making it 10-0 and ending the game.
“I was a little concerned offensive for the first three innings,” Danny Lampley said. “Their pitcher had our hitters off-balance and out in front, swinging early. But I’m proud of the adjustment our girls made in the fourth and fifth innings.”
Angels stay undefeated in tourney
EDEN — The Rockingham All-Star Angels continued its march through its competition in the Dixie Softball State Tournament with a 2-0 win over Dunn Monday afternoon.
Kearston Bruce, Payton Chappell and Quston Leviner combined on the one-hit shutout. Bruce issued three walks and two strikeouts. Leviner surrendered the lone hit to Dunn and walked three. Chappell pitched one inning, striking out the side on 12 pitches.
Rockingham’s lone runs came in the top of the three. Leviner walked to open the frame. Morgan Singletary attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but the Dunn defense committed two errors on the play allowing Leviner and Singletary to score.
“We knew it was going to be a close game,” Rockingham Angels coach Keith Chappell said. “Our pitching was there today.”
Rockingham will face the other unbeaten team remaining in the tournament — Hope Mills — 1 p.m. today. Hope Mills defeated Fuquay-Varina 9-1 in its opener before blanking Bessemer City 13-0.
Sports editor Shawn Stinson contributed to this report