Ridgecroft stops Pungo

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2011

AHOSKIE – Moving Week.

That’s what the Ridgecroft School softball team has to use as motivation if they hope to improve their standing in the Tarheel Independent Conference where the Lady Rams trail both Hobgood and Terra Ceia.

And they risk moving down with Lawrence and Hobgood games on the schedule for this week.

But they made the right moves Monday in scoring a 4-2 win over Pungo Christian Academy at their home softball field; breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with what proved to be the winning runs.

Pitchers Erin Cooke and Mary Kate Morris combined for a two-hitter in the circle as Morris picked up the win. Both girls had three strikeouts.

Morris and Cooke, along with Sara Hackney and Lauren Colson, had hits for Ridgecroft with Colson driving in a pair of runs.

“It was a pretty evenly matched game,” said Rams’ coach Nichole Hughes. “Erin pitched well and we came back to get those runs late and closed with Mary Kate, so I’m very proud of all of them.”

Great defensive plays kept both teams off the scoreboard through the first two and a half innings. Ridgecroft had one scoring attempt snuffed on a double-play while the Lady Raiders stranded a couple in the second inning to keep the game scoreless.

Ridgecroft got on the scoreboard first.

In the bottom of the third inning, Colson and Dana Vann had back-to-back walks before Laurel Boone loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice.

After a strikeout, Hackney stroked a solid base hit to center that scored Colson and Morris followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Vann for a 2-0 Rams lead.

Pungo halved the deficit in the top of the fourth as Allison Armstrong doubled off Cooke, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-1, Rams.

The Raiders then got the equalizer in the sixth inning.

Jenna Sadler walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout. That made the score 2-2.

The Raiders then got the go-ahead run in scoring position when Armstrong got her second safety of the afternoon.

Morris came on to relieve Cooke and, despite a sacrifice bunt that moved Pungo into scoring position, she got the final out of the inning to end the threat.

The bottom of the sixth began with Morris dropping a blooper in short left field and Emily Grace moving Morris to second after she drew a base-on-balls. With one-out, Jordan Whitley moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

With two out, the next batter, Colson, blasted a line-shot double that fell just inside the foul line beyond first base and rolled into right field. Morris and Grace scored what proved to be the game winner.

Morris struck out the side in the seventh to give the Rams their seventh win and a 4-2 record in the TIC.

“They (Ridgecroft) came out wanting it,” sighed Pungo coach Melody Williams. “They’re great players and they showed why.”

“We’ve got those other games,” said Hughes, “and then the Prom on Thursday. That means we’ll really have to really be getting it done this week.”