Prep Softball: North powers way by East, 13-2
To beat softball superpower North Davidson, the East Davidson Lady Golden Eagles needed to take advantage of every opportunity given to them. So when they left the bases loaded in the first inning of Thursday's nonconference showdown, it was not a good omen for the remainder of the night.
The Black Knights immediately scored four runs in the next half inning, coasting on to a 13-2 win in five innings. Maggie Fritts drilled two home runs to lead NDHS, who ran their overall record to 14-0. Bre Crumley added a 3-for-3 effort with two doubles and five RBIs.
A run in the first inning may have changed the whole landscape of the game, but the Golden Eagles can only wonder what could have been. They had gotten Selena Metcalf on with a single and a walk advanced her to second. With two outs, Morgan Key also reached to load the sacks. Basketball star Bayley Plummer stepped in, but she would walk back to the dugout with the bat on her shoulder after watching a called third strike on the outside corner.
North got a two-run homer by Fritts and two-RBI single by Crumley to lead 4-0 a half inning later.
“I think if we score a run there it would have changed the mentality on both sides of the field,” said EDHS head coach Amanda Akins. “I think that brought them down quicker than it should have. But North did what they needed to do and we didn't. We just did not take advantage of our opportunities. Leaving runners in scoring position killed us pretty much.”
East hurler Brooke Walser settled down in the third inning to send the Black Knights down in order. But it would be a long fourth inning for Walser and one she would not make it out of against a powerful North lineup.
Eleven players visited the batter's box and many of them went on to score. The guests from Welcome added eight additional runs, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Crumley and mammoth three-run homer by Fritts.
East worked hard in the fourth to try and take the mercy rule out of play. Key began the inning with a triple and Plummer got on first after being hit by Casey Stanek's pitch. When Plummer took off to steal second, the throw found its way into left field on a deflection. Key scored easily on the play and Plummer hustled around third to also score. It still left the Eagles down 10 and kept the mercy rule in play.
North would add a 13th run in the fifth on a Haley Pace RBI double.
“I told them all week this is your test and will determine where we are at right now at the halfway point of the season,” said Akins. “It is a great time to play them with the second half of the season coming up. We will just use that and get ready for the second half of conference and get ready for the postseason.”
Stanek struck out six to earn the win in the circle. East dipped to 4-6 overall in the loss.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.