Prep Softball: Ledford drops Asheboro on Senior Night
The Ledford Panthers softball team honored two of their top players for Senior Night before Thursday's game against Asheboro. Afterward, Ashley Best and Meg Everhart went out and showed why they have meant so much to the team the last four years.
Best hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third to break a scoreless tie and Everhart made a handful of key defensive plays behind starter Megan Hayworth to preserve a 2-0 victory over the Blue Comets.
"Defense had a huge part of it tonight," said Panthers' coach Charlie Brown. "I thought Megan pitched well. Our senior, Meg Everhart, played well at short. She snagged a few line drives and turned some double plays. As always, Ashley Best played great defense. That's just something that two seniors did. Plus, Ashley's big hit on Senior Night was awesome."
Hayworth pitched a complete game shutout, spinning seven innings of six-hit ball. She struck out two. Mackenzie Cranford belted a RBI double and the Panthers played stellar defense to preserve the win.
Runs were at a premium during a contest that featured two pitchers who had great success at keeping opposing hitters off-balance. On the rare occasion some did reach, they were wiped off the base paths by outstanding defense.
Ledford (14-8, 8-2) clinched second place in the Mid-Piedmont 3-A Conference with the victory. The conference tournament will begin next week at Southwestern Randolph.
"It means a lot to come out with the win. It was a total team effort," Best said. "We left a lot of people on base tonight, so (in the conference tournament), we just have to string hits together, relax and go play the games."
Hayworth pitched around a leadoff double in the fifth. She notched a crucial strikeout two batters later and got the Comets' Holly Skipper to pop out, stranding a runner at third at keeping the score at 1-0.
Cranford's run-scoring double came in the next inning to give Ledford the added insurance of another run on the board.
After the game, Brown explained what having players like Best and Everhart contributed to a program that has found continued success over the last several seasons.
"They've meant everything, really," Brown said. "They just make those key little plays people don't recognize. They've been starters for four years, since day one, and have been phenomenal for our program. We're really going to miss them."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.