ROWLAND — Errors helped open the door for most of Purnell Swett’s runs on Saturday at South Robeson High and cold bats contributed to West Bladen’s 6-3 opening-round loss to the Lady Rams at the Robeson County Slugfest.
The Lady Knights, who won tree straight titles between 2012 and 2014, fell to 4-5 and were sent to the losers’ bracket to play South Robeson on Monday.
Purnell Swett, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, scored a run in the bottom of the first, a pair of runs in the second inning and added three more in the third for a 6-0 advantage. Meanwhile, West Bladen hitters were being handcuffed without a hit through the first four innings.
In the top of the fifth frame, Carley Dawson reached on an infield hit snd an error put runners at first and second. A grounder to third induced a rundown toward home, but Dawson managed to get home safely with the first run. Jenna Dove smacked a two-out, two-run single that pulled West Bladen to within 6-3 moments later.
After a scoreless sixth inning, infield hits by Logan Autry and Kathryn Schultz gave hope for a Lady Knights rally, but things fizzled quickly.
Dawson was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead West Bladen.
Knights get one-hit
Also in Rowland on Saturday behind a stellar outing from pitcher Daniel Carter, the Lumberton baseball team earned an 5-0 win over West Bladen in the first round of the Slugfest.
Carter pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout, striking out seven batters en route to the win. He also helped his cause with an RBI single.
“He did a great job on the mound,” Lumberton coach Jeff McLamb said. “He threw strikes, got ahead of the batters and only had one inning where he struggled control-wise. Other than that, he did an awesome job.”
Evan Odum opened the scoring for the Pirates in a two-run first inning, blasting a double to left-centerfield to plate Alec Brewington. Nolan Locklear followed with a double to right, and was replaced by Josh Smith, who scored on a throwing error to give the Pirates a 2-0 advantage.
Brewington and Odum finished an RBI and a pair of hits each for the Pirates. An RBI single by Brewington in the second extended Lumberton’s lead to 3-0.
The Pirates added two more insurance runs in the third on singles by Carter and Kris Allen.
Chandler Lennon had the lone hit for West Bladen,
Jeremy Hunt was tagged with the loss for the Knights.
The Robesonian sports staff contributed to this story.