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Lady Rams roll to 2-0

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School softball is off to a fast start.

The Lady Rams opened Tarheel Independent Conference play Monday and took a 1-0 victory at Pungo Christian Academy. They kept their spot atop the early league standings Tuesday by knocking off Albemarle School 11-1 in five innings.

Tuesday afternoon, the Lady Rams opened their home schedule with an impressive win over the Lady Colts.

Mary Kate Morris, getting her second start for Ridgecroft, struck out 16 batters in five innings while allowing just a single hit.

Offensively the Lady Rams got off to a slow start, getting a pair of base runners in the first inning, only to go scoreless. In the second frame, Ridgecroft loaded the bases, but again couldn’t get a run home.

While the Lady Rams were at least getting runners on, Morris was mowing down the competition, striking out four batters in the first inning (one reached on a dropped third strike) and three batters in each of the second and third frames.

Ridgecroft got their offense on track in the bottom of the third inning when Mary Myers led off and reached on an error. Myers was erased when Tayler Smith reached on a fielder’s choice, but Morris laced a single to left that gave the Lady Rams runners on first and second.

Ridgecroft’s lone senior, Jessica Bolton, drilled a triple to right-centerfield to score both Smith and Morris. She then scored on a sacrifice fly from Sara Hackney to give the Lady Rams a 3-0 lead.

Albemarle got their lone run in the top of the fourth when a batter reached on a dropped third strike, advanced on a single and scored on a passed ball.

The bottom of the fourth saw Ridgecroft continue to produce offensively. After one out, Lindsay Jacob and Emily Cooke had back-to-back singles. Myers then drew a walk that loaded the bases.

Smith then delivered a single to plate Jacob and keep the bases juiced. After Cooke scored on a passed ball, which advanced all runners, Morris had a two-RBI single to left.

Bolton then reached on a two-base error that sent Morris to third. Morris scored on a RBI ground-out by Hackney to make it 8-1.

Morris struck out the side in the top of the fifth inning to set the table for her squad to end the game in the bottom of the frame.

Jacob reached on a walk and went to third on a ground-out by Cooke. After Myers also drew a free pass, she stole second.

Smith’s single and took second on a throw while Jacob and Myers went to third.

Morris ended the game on a two-RBI double to left.

The win came one day after Ridgecroft had defeated the Lady Raiders 1-0.

That win came thanks to a first inning RBI-single by Bolton. She drove in Smith, who had walked. Ridgecroft managed just three hits in the contest. In addition to Bolton, those hits came off the bats of Jacob and Morris.

Morris won the game on the mound, pitching a one-hit shutout and striking out 18.

The Lady Rams (2-0) will be back in action today (Thursday) when they travel to rival Northeast Academy for a 4 p.m. game.