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The Bandits withstood a furious 5-run Heat rally in the final inning to escape with an 8-7 victory Thursday in the Bladen Recreation 8-10 Softball opener for both teams.

The Bandits jumped ahead in the 1st inning as Anna Claire Walters smashed a lead-off double. Keri Burgess was hit by a pitch, and Maelee Norris and Caity McLaurin belted singles. All four of them scored to put the Bandits up 4-0.

The Heat answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning as Kaylee Fisher and Avianna Whittington smacked hits and scored runs.

Burgess singled in the 3rd inning and raced home when Norris slammed a double. McLaurin singled and scored later in the inning as the lead grew to 6-2. Rogerson also singled in the inning.

Riley Dowless and Hailii Andrews connected for hits and scored runs in the Bandits 4th inning.

Fisher, Racquel Whittington, Avianna Whittington and Kynslie Kinlaw started the Heat’s 4th inning with consecutive hits and all of them scored. Khloe Campbell poled a drive that landed squarely on the right field line for a double, and she later scored to trim the final margin to 8-7.

Laikyn Rogerson struck out the side in the 2nd inning for the Bandits and finished with 8 strikeouts in the game. Avianna Whittington handled the pitching duties for the Heat and struck out six.

Bandits  402 2 -8
Heat       200 5 -7

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