ST PAULS —The Lady Eagles took a brief break from their Four County Conference softball schedule to travel up to St. Pauls for a non-conference doubleheader on Monday.
Although the results gave East Bladen two wins by the run-rule after just three innings each, the day was more like a long six-inning nightmare for the Lady Bulldogs.
In the opener, Miller Heustess twirled a no-hitter at St. Pauls and only missed out on a perfect game when she hit a batter.
At the plate, the Lady Eagles put nine hits to good use by plating 14 runs over the three innings. Abby Ward and Emily Scott each went 2-for-2 in the game — Ward had two RBI and Scott drove home one.
Lacey Suggs also had a pair of hits, including a double, while Abbey Norris contributed a two-run single. Yolanda Coston, Lexi Dawson and Anna Brewer each had RBIs.
In the nightcap, Suggs was given the starting nod in the circle, and she responded with a one-hitter as East Bladen thumped the Lady Bulldogs once again, 15-0.
“We played very well,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “Everyone contributed.
“St. Pauls is in a rebuilding year, so we were able to get everyone in at different positions.”
East Bladen had a trio of players who were perfect at the plate: Brewer was 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs; Dawson was 2-for-2 with a double, triple and three RBIs; and Norris was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Ward finished 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, while Suggs was 1-for-2 with a double.
Suggs also fanned five from the circle.
— In Whiteville at Land O Lakes Golf Course on Monday, the West Bladen Knights fell 27 strokes short of winning the Four County Conference opener, losing out to Clinton by a 314-341 margin.
Kayla Thompson led West Bladen with an 80, which was five strokes off medalist honors. Gage Bailey and Brett Jackson followed closely behind, each carding an 84 for the Knights.
“We played pretty good, considering it was our first conference match,” said West Bladen coach Phillip Penny. “We believe we can play better … and we’re going to have to if we want to win the conference.”
East Bladen finished eighth in the competition with a team total of 475.
The Eagles were led by Brandon Davis’ 109.
— In Hampstead on Wednesday, East Bladen improved one spot and West Bladen dropped a spot in a Four County Conference match at Castle Bay Country Club.
Clinton and Union finished 1-2, respectively, while West Bladen took the No. 3 team spot with a 358. East Bladen moved up to No. 7 with a 478 team score.
Brett Jackson led the Knights with an 80, while Kayla Thompson carded an 82.
For East Bladen, Willis Cole led the Eagles with a 108.
— In Dublin on Monday, the Knights handed visiting East Bladen a double loss, 7-2 and 6-3.
In the opening match, West Bladen’s singles winners were Adam Rutland at No. 2, 8-3; Victor Jacome at No. 3, 8-4; Bryan Labra at No. 4, 8-0; Brandon Thompson at No. 5; 8-1; and Matthew Bobby at No. 6, 8-5. The lone East Bladen winner was Jacob Hatchell at No. 1, 8-4.
In doubles for West Bladen, Jacome and Labra teamed for an 8-2 win at No2, and the duo of Thompson and Tate Sykes won at No. 3, 8-3. The Eagles got a win at No. 1 from the team of Hatchell and Logan Baxley, 8-6.
In the second match, West Bladen got singles wins from Rutland, 8-3; Jacome, 8-2; Labra, 8-3; and Thompson, 8-1. East Bladen got wins from Hatchell, 8-6; and Collin Pridgen at No. 6, 9-7.
The Knights’ doubles winners were Jacome and Labra, 8-2; and Thompson and Sykes, 8-0. East’s team of Hatchell and Baxley won, 8-5.
— In Teachey on Wednesday, West Bladen swept Wallace-Rose Hill 9-0 in a Four County Conference match.
Victor Jacome earned a 6-0, 6-0 shutout at No. 3 singles, then teamed with Adam Rutland for an 8-0 shutout at No. 2 doubles.
Luke Taylor gave up just one game at No. 1 singles for a 6-1, 6-0 win and the duo of Brandon Thompson and Tate Sykes earned an 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles.
— In Elizabethtown on Wednesday, East Bladen rallied from an early 1-0 deficit with a run in the third and three in the fourth en route to a 5-3 Four County Conference win over Pender County.
Matthew Taylor scattered four hits across five inning to post the win, while Alex Coates earned the save with two innings of two-hit ball.
Ty McMillian led the Eagles at the plate with a 2-for-4 night and an RBI. Matt Massengill and Joe Strait each had RBIs.
— In Rose Hill on Wednesday, West Bladen fell to Union in heartbreaking fashion — a 13-inning, 3-2 loss in Four County Conference action.
The Knights wasted a first-inning 2-0 lead, and the Spartans pushed across single runs in the third and fifth before scoring the game-winner in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Trevor Lesane had a triple and RBI for West Bladen, while John Waldrop had an RBI single.
Travis Bowen hurled a gem, going nine innings and giving up two runs on eight hits. Jeremy Hunt took the loss after four innings of three-hit work.
— In Rose Hill on Wednesday, the Lady Knights broke open a tight game with 11 runs in the top of the seventh innings to whip Union, 17-4, in a Four County Conference tilt.
Nicole Wyatt dominated in the circle for West Bladen, twirling a complete game and fanning 14 batters to earn the win.
At the plate, Morgan Sweeney had the big blow in the seventh inning, belting a two-run home run. Courtney Thompson was 3-for-4 in the game, while Wyatt helped her own cause with a double and three RBI. Alanna Ludlum also had a double with two RBI.