ELIZABETHTOWN — Kayleigh Raynor got back on track in the circle for East Bladen on Tuesday, twirling a six-hitter with 10 strikeouts, leading the Lady Eagles to a 12-4 win over visiting South Robeson and setting up a Three Rivers showdown on Friday with West Bladen.
The win improved East Bladen to 9-10 overall, 8-9 in the conference — just one game behind the Lady Knights.
On Tuesday, East Bladen scored a run in the second when Olivia Hollingsworth walked and scored moments later on a wild pitch. But the Lady Mustangs knotted the score in the top of the third.
The Lady Eagles regained the lead with two runs in the home half of the third when Raynor walked, Erica McKoy singled and, after Raynor stole third, she came home on a fielder’s choice by Hollingsworth. McKoy scored on a wild pitch to put East Bladen up, 3-1.
In the fourth, the Lady Eagles extended the lead to 5-1 behind an exciting rarity — a steal of home by Anna Kate White — and a throwing error.
South Robeson cut the deficit to 5-2 with a run in the fifth, but East Bladen answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth behind a bases loaded walk to White and two wild pitches that brought runs home for an 8-2 edge.
The visitors plated a pair of runs in the sixth to pull within 8-4, but East Bladen responded with four runs in the home half on another steal of home, this time by Johanna Parker, a run-scoring double that rattled the centerfield fence, a wild pitch for a run and a passed ball for the final run.
South Robeson scored a run in the seventh to finish the scoring.
At the plate, East Bladen was led by McKoy, who was 2-for-3; and Mendell had a double and RBI.