Lady Warriors top Ridgecroft
MERRY HILL – It was the set up for a showdown.
After upping their record in league play to a perfect 4-0 on Monday, Lawrence Academy’s softball team is poised for a showdown today (Thursday) with Hobgood Academy for first place in the Tarheel Independent Conference.
The Lady Warriors bounced rival, Ridgecroft, 13-3, raising their overall record to 6-2. Ridgecroft remains winless at 0-3 and 0-2 in the TIC.
Lawrence did it with a multi-pronged attack: banging out 15 hits by taking advantage of several Lady Rams miscues and scoring in four of the five innings of the shortened game.
Emma Conigliaro went 3-for 4, drove in three runs and scored twice. She also picked up the pitching win by allowing eight hits, striking out six and walking just two in five innings of work.
Hayden Thompson and Priscilla Lunsford drove in two runs each as did pinch-hitter Jordan Lyle. Lauren Colson was 2-for-3 for Ridgecroft and scored a run.
“I wish we’d won a little more cleanly without all the errors, but we’re still improving with every game”, said Lawrence coach Kristin Nobles-White, “We still waited until the second inning to start hitting and that’s been our goal this week is to start hitting in the first instead of waiting until the second or the third.”
Ridgecroft broke the ice first with a run in the opening frame of the game. Erin Cooke drew a walk, stole second base and came home thanks to two consecutive wild pitches.
Lawrence came back to take the lead in their half of the first inning, evening the score much the way the Lady Rams had done. Lunsford walked, stole second and thanks to two passed balls came home to make the score 1-1.
The Lady Warriors got their other runs on another passed ball and a throwing error for a 3-1 lead with just two hits.
Lawrence opened things up in the second when their bats came alive. Sydney Brabble got on base with a hot-shot between second and short. Two wild pitches later, she was on third base when Lunsford delivered a two-out run-scoring single.
Lunsford’s safety was the first of five base hits in a row for the home team and it led to four more runs. Lawrence batted around in the inning and when it was over they had an 8-1 lead.
Ridgecroft cut into that lead in the top of the third inning. Bailey Vann walked and one-out later moved to third on Colson’s blooper to right field before scoring on a throwing error.
The next batter, Lauren Daniels, delivered Colson, but Lawrence got two outs to end the inning and the comeback threat.
After Lawrence got a run in the bottom of third to make it, 9-3, neither team scored in the fourth inning.
The Warriors ended things in the bottom of the fifth inning with the four deciding runs.
Giovanna Conigliaro opened with a base hit and stole second before being sacrificed to third by Heather Hughes and scoring on Ridgecroft’s fourth throwing error of the game.
Brabble followed with a one-out double. Mattie Warren then singled and Lunsford walked to load the bases. Jordan Lyle then came on to pinch-hit and her deep shot to left field brought in Brabble and Warren, but she was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
Conigliaro followed with a liner to center field that delivered the 13th run of the game; which was unlucky for the visitors because it ended the contest thanks to the 10-run rule.
“We put the bat on the ball more than we have all season,” said second-year Lady Rams coach Nicole Hughes. “They didn’t hang their heads and they didn’t give up. Lawrence was just a lot more aggressive than we were.”
“This was our fifth win in a row,” said Nobles-White. “It helps our confidence and momentum going into the big game with Hobgood.”
Ridgecroft hosts Northeast Academy on Thursday after visiting Oakwood the day before, while Lawrence visits the Raiders. The Warriors’ next home game will be against Terra Ceia on March 29.