ST. PAULS — The Lady Knights revamped softball team put on an offensive display on Thursday in St. Pauls, opening the 2014 season with a 30-0 non-conference thumping of the Lady Bulldogs.
Courtney Thompson was one of the key stars at the plate for West Bladen, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a triple and six RBI. Taylor Stephens was 4-for-6, drove in two runs and scored six times.
The Lady Knights plated all the runs they would need with a nine-run first frame, but then added four runs in the second, five in the third and exploded for 11 runs in the fourth. They added one more run in the fifth.
While the West Bladen bats were working, Nicole Wyatt and Morgan Sweeney combined for a two-hitter in the circle. Wyatt earned the win with three innings of no-hit ball while striking out six; Sweeney twirled the last two innings, giving up two hits and fanning two.
The two pitchers also had a good day at the plate. Wyatt was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Sweeney was 3-for-6 with four RBI.
— On Saturday, West Bladen hosted Whiteville in an endowment game, and scratched for a single run to take a 1-0 non-conference win.
The Lady Knights are now 2-0 this season.
The lone run came in the third when Taylor Stephens reached on a one-out single, then promptly stole second and third. Coach Pam Stephens put the squeeze on, but the pitch was in the dirt and mishandled by the catcher, allowing Taylor Stephens to speed home.
“It was a good pitchers’ duel,” coach Stephens said. “We knew this would be a big test for us.”
Nicole Wyatt earned the win in the circle for West Bladen, going the distance and giving up two hits and striking out seven.
— The Knights traveled to St. Pauls Thursday for a non-conference game against the Bulldogs, and came home with a 7-1 season-opening win.
West Bladen scored in each of the first three innings — getting a pair in the first, a single run in the second and two more in the third. The Knights added single runs in the fourth and sixth to put the game away.
The Bulldogs averted the whitewash with a run in the fifth.
Liston Britt got the start and win for West Bladen on the hill, and he combined with Kevin Rice to hurl a four-hitter.
Trevor Lesane, Travis Bowen and Britt each went 2-for-4 for the Knights. Lesane had a triple.
— In Elizabethtown on Thursday, a bottom of the seventh rally by East Bladen fell inches short on a play at the plate and the Eagles fell to visiting South Columbus 3-2.
East Bladen took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but the Stallions scored a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take the one-run lead.
The Eagles put a runner on third with two outs in their final at-bat, but the runner was thrown out at the plate on a passed ball to end the game.
— In Cerro Gordo on Friday, West Columbus put five runs on the board in a game that was called after six innings because of darkness, and it was enough to beat East Bladen 5-1. The Vikings’ lights were under repair and could not be used.
The cold winds were matched by the cold bats of the Eagles, who could muster just two hits.
Alex Coates had one of east Bladen’s singles and went to third on a passed ball moments later. He then scored on a steal of home as part of a double-steal.
— In Dublin on Saturday, West Bladen dropped a 10-0 decision to visiting Whiteville in a non-conference endowment game.
The Knights are now 1-1.
The Wolfpack scored a single run in the first and third innings, while West Bladen could generate no offense. John Waldrop’s fourth-inning double went for naught when his courtesy runner was thrown out on a passed ball.
In the seventh, Whiteville broke it open with eight runs on eight hits — most of them barely hit well.
“We got dinked to death that inning,” West Bladen coach Kim Cain said. “But we didn’t hit the ball very well, so it didn’t really matter.”
— The Knights won four singles matches and one of three doubles matches to nip West Columbus, 5-4, in the seaso-opener for both teams.
Adam Rutland, Victor Jacome, Bryan Labra and Colton Bryant each won singles matches, while the duo of Rutland and Jacome took the No. 1 doubles match for West Bladen.