Prep Softball: Eagles soar past Spartans in blowout
East Davidson softball coach Amanda Akins felt her team had the pieces in place to finally take down 2-A Central Carolina Conference powerhouse Central Davidson. What she did not expect was the fashion they did it in.
Behind 16 hits and a superb pitching performance from youngster Brooke Walser, the Lady Golden Eagles wrecked Senior Night for the Spartans in a shocking 13-2 rout. The loss was the first in regular season league play since the 2009 season for CDHS.
“I didn’t think the score was going to be that big,” said Akins. “The girls have worked hard.”
East has been ripping the ball all season long, but to do it against a Spartan program that is known for great pitching was a surprise. There was production all throughout the lineup, but the bottom half made the biggest impact. No. 7 hitter Bayley Plummer had two hits and three RBIs, as did nine-hole hitter Bailey Inman. Morgan Key anchored the middle of the lineup with a 3-for-4 effort and two RBIs, while Bailey Jones, Brooklyn Hopkins and Natalie Naturile each had a pair of hits.
“It is nothing I have done it is all those kids,” said Akins. “They have great swings and all the credit goes to them on all those hits.”
Central scored first when McKenzie Burkhart lifted a sacrifice fly to right to score Erin Laws. East came right back an inning later, as Naturile singled in a run. The Eagles added one more in the third on Key’s double to the gap.
In the fourth, a scary moment happened in front of the East faithful when catcher Andrea Grant went down in excruciating pain running out a grounder to first base. The game was halted for 15 minutes as trainers tended to her. It is believed she pulled ligaments in her knee.
She has been a sparkplug in the Eagle offense, leading the team in home runs. Her teammates rallied around her and put on a hitting clinic from then on.
“Andrea has been a big part of our success this year, so it just fueled them up,” Akins said.
Central was able to tie the game in the bottom of the inning, but the Eagles put up three runs in the fifth to begin pulling away. Morgan Gallimore walked to open the fifth and moved over on a Jones single. A walk to Key loaded the bases, then Plummer lifted a sacrifice to center to score Gallimore. Consecutive RBI singles from Haley Ray and Inman made it 5-2 Eagles.
While CDHS starter Kylie Ward was getting hit, Walser seemed to get stronger and gave up only two hits over the last three innings.
“Brooke did an excellent job tonight,” said Akins. “That is the first full game for her and she did a phenomenal job. I was really proud of her effort in going out and getting it done.”
The offense exploded in the sixth and the mercy-rule nearly came into play. East batted around, scoring six times to build an 11-2 advantage. In their last at-bat, the Eagles plated two more for good measure on Key’s second double of the game.
East moves to 12-7 overall and takes over first place in the CCC at 7-1. Central falls to 8-10 and sits at 6-1 in league play.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.