ROCKINGHAM — Casey Snead is known for her ability on the mound helping Richmond Senior to victories during her career.
On Senior Night, Snead added another weapon to her arsenal — slugger.
Snead smashed a three-run home run to cap a six-run outburst in the fifth inning as Richmond defeated Scotland 8-2 to clinch the No. 2 seed in next week’s Southeastern Conference tournament. The Raiders improve to 15-7 overall and 8-2 in SEC play.
“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.”
Snead said after her teammates spotted her the lead, she felt stronger on the mound. Snead retired 10 of the last 11 batters she faced on the night, including striking out the Fighting Scots in order in the sixth.
“I was struggling in the beginning,” Snead said. “Nothing was working and my finger (blister) was bothering me. Then I got pumped up out there.”
Richmond finished with its third straight game with at least 11 hits, ending with 14 against Scotland. Chelsea Davis was 3-for-3 on the night with a solo home run leading off the fifth to spark the Raiders to their six-run rally. Jennifer Steen went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in. Caroline Kirkland and Snead were each 2-of-4.
Every batter in the Richmond lineup reached base and all but one had a hit.
“We had 11 hits against Lumberton, 12 against Pinecrest and 14 tonight,” Richmond coach Wendy Wallace said. “I’ll take it. Ever since Chelsea came up she’s been hitting. She struggled in the first game at the beach, but she’s been hitting ever since. And Jennifer is hitting beach balls right now.”
After earning the second seed in the tournament, the Raiders will face the winner of the Scotland-Hoke County contest at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home. Purnell Swett is the top seed and will take on the winner of the Lumberton-Pinecrest contest on Tuesday.
“It’s good for us health-wise to have Monday off,” Wallace said.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com