ELIZABETHTOWN – A 6-run, fifth-inning rally broke a 6-6 tie and vaulted Clarkton School of Discovery to a 14-8 Bladen Five Middle School Conference softball victory Thursday.
The victory avenges an earlier 14-13 loss that the Lady Blue Devils suffered in their first meeting with the Lady Cougars and leaves the two teams tied for first place in the Bladen Five with identical 4-1 records.
Clarkton jumped in front 2-0 in the first inning as Khadijah Jones and Alyssa Futrell smacked singles to left-centerfield, and Lauren Bowen knocked them both in with a single to right-centerfield.
Abbie Cross ripped a one-out double to leftfield in the Lady Blue Devil second. After pitcher Jordan Kinlaw walked, Jones hammered a double to centerfield that drove in Cross and Kinlaw and put CSD up 4-0.
In the home half of the second, Alyssa Suggs was hit by a pitch, and Carlie West belted a single to left-centerfield to drive her in and whittle the lead to 4-1.
The Lady Blue Devils stretched their lead to 6-1 with 2 runs in the third. Bowen raked a single to left field and Izzy Smith walked. Both Bowen and Smith scored as Cross reached base on an error.
Elizabethtown trimmed the margin to 6-3 with 2 runs in the home third. Shanell McMillian reached base on an error, and Cheylee Mathis walked. Kayleigh Raynor swatted a single to left-centerfield that scored both runners.
The Lady Cougars battled back with 3 runs in the fourth to tie the score. West walked, and Chasity Carter was hit by a pitch. Katlynn Tatum reached base on an error that scored West and Carter.
McMillian was hit by a pitch, and Abigail Madden cracked a single that scored McMillian.
The Lady Blue Devils broke the game open in the fifth. Smith walked, and Alayna Weeks roped a single to left-centerfield. Cross reached on an error as Smith scored. Lorna Mendell yanked a single to leftfield that scored Weeks.
Johanna Parker smashed a double to leftfield that plated Cross and Mendell. Jones walloped a triple to leftfield that scored Parker, and Futrell drove in Jones with a single for a 12-6 lead.
Elizabethtown trimmed the margin to 12-8 in the home fifth. Raynor reached base on an error, and Suggs and West were both hit by pitches. Raynor darted home on a wild pitch, and Suggs scored on Abbie Collins’ fielder’s choice.
Clarkton tacked on 2 more runs in the top of the sixth. After two were out, Cross was hit by a pitch, and Mendell followed with a single. Parker delivered a single to leftfield that scored both runners.
Kinlaw pitched the first 4 innings and allowed 3 hits and 6 runs while striking out seven. Bowen worked the final 2 innings in the circle and allowed 2 runs on one hit while striking out three.
Jones batted 4-5 with 2 doubles, a triple, 3 runs batted in and 2 runs scored for Clarkton. Mendell turned in a 2-2 performance with 2 runs scored and 2 rbi’s.
Bowen finished 2-4 at the plate with 2 rbi’s and a run scored. Futrell was also 2-4 with an rbi and a run scored. Parker batted 2-5 with a double, 4 rbi’s and a run scored.
Cross doubled and scored 3 runs, and Weeks singled and scored a run. Smith scored 2 runs and Kinlaw scored one. The Lady Blue Devils racked up 14 hits.
Raynor batted 2-4 with 2 rbi’s and a run scored for Elizabethtown. Madden and West cracked run-scoring singles, and Collins had an rbi. McMIllian and Suggs scored 2 runs each. West, Mathis and Carter scored one run each.
Raynor pitched the complete game and struck out 9 batters.
Clarkton will host Tar Heel Tuesday, while Elizabethtown travels to Bladenboro.