West nips East for softball win

By: Staff report

ELIZABETHTOWN — With a potential state playoff berth on the line, West Bladen rallied in the seventh inning to earn a 5-4 win against east Bladen in the Three Rivers Conference regular-season finale.

The Lady Knights improved to 10-8 in the conference and 11-12 overall, while the Lady Eagles fell to 8-10, 9-11.

The visitors took an early lead with a run in the top of the first when Kyla Reed ripped a double to the right-center gap and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alara Cashwell.

After a scoreless second inning, West Bladen doubled its lead when Reed belted a solo home run to left for a 2-0 edge.

But the Lady Eagles answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the third behind a single from Kaley Smith — who went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scampered home on an RBI single by Kayleigh Raynor. Raynor stole second and third before scoring on a passed ball to knot the score at 2-2.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth, when East Bladen put a run on the board after Abbie Cross was hit by a pitch, Raynor hit into a fielder’s choice and then stole second before scoring on an RBI single from Erica McKoy for a 3-2 edge.

West Bladen responded in the top of the sixth when Carley Dawson stroked a double and, after moving to third on a wild pitch, she scored on a sacrifice bunt by Brittney Landreth to tie the game.

In the top of the seventh, Abby Dawson smoked a one-out double to the right-center gap, Reed reached on an error to put runners at the corners until Reed stole second, and Cashwell followed with a two-run double to center for a 5-3 Lady Knights lead.

East Bladen started a rally in the bottom of the inning, as McKoy tripled to left-center and Johanna Parker laced a run-scoring single to close the gap to 5-4. Alyssa Futrell crushed a big fly to deep left, but the ball was caught for the second out and a harmless grounder finished the game.

For the Lady Knights, Madison Collins earned the win in the circle, twirling a complete-game, eight-hitter with a walk, a hit batter and four strikeouts.

At the plate, West Bladen was led by Carley Dawson, who went 4-for-4 with a double; Reed was 2-for-3 with a double, home run, stolen base and an RBI; Cashwell had a double and three RBI; Abby Dawson had a double; and Landreth had an RBI.

For East Bladen, Raynor took the tough loss, twirling a complete-game, nine-hitter with a walk and nine strikeouts.

At the plate, the Lady Eagles were led by McKoy, who went 2-for-3 with a triple and RBI; Raynor had an RBI and two stolen bases; Smith had a stolen base.

Staff report