Editor’s note — The Richmond County Daily Journal will look back at the top moments from the Richmond Senior athletic department this season.
ROCKINGHAM — For the first time in two seasons, the Richmond Senior softball team swept their rivals to the east in the regular season and Casey Snead played a major role in the two victories.
In the first meeting, Richmond led Scotland 1-0 going into the fifth inning when lightning and rain forced the game to be postponed for five days. When play resumed, the Raiders extended their advantage to three runs before Snead ran into some difficulty in the bottom of the sixth.
Snead issued back-to-back walks with two outs, prompting a visit from pitching coach Shellie Wimpey. After the brief meeting, Snead settled down and worked out of the jam without allowing a run. In the seventh, the right-hander struck out the side to compete a no-hitter.
“I didn’t even realize I had one,” Snead said. “I was really mad because I had those two walks.”
The future Guilford Quaker struck out 10 and faced two batters over the minimum in the contest. Cierra Bowden had three hits, including two doubles, while Elizabeth Pittman added two singles in the win.
Just over three weeks later the Raiders looked to compete the sweep and lock themselves into the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament as well as the state playoffs.
Unlike the game in Laurinburg, the Fighting Scots were able to break through against Snead and led 2-0 going into the bottom of the third when Jennifer Steen tied the contest with a two-run single.
Richmond brought out the big guns two innings later. Chelsea Davis led off with a home run to give the Raiders the lead for good. After a two singles, two errors and a fielder’s choice, Snead iced the game with a three-run home run to center field.
“I have hit a good number of home runs in travel ball,” Snead said. “I don’t think I hit any in high school, maybe one in practice. When I hit it, I knew it was going out. I felt it.”
The senior right-hander shut down Scotland’s offense the rest of the way, retiring the final six batters including striking out the side in the sixth.
“I was struggling in the beginning,” Snead said. “Nothing was working and my finger was bothering me. Then I got pumped out out there.”
The win clinched the second seed for the Raiders in the Southeastern Conference tourney as well as in the 4A state playoffs.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com