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Robeson County Slugfest Softball, Tournament Hoke County 5, West Bladen 0

Sophmore Bethany Locklear pitched a one-hit shutout Monday night to lead Hoke County to a 5-0 victory over 3-time defending champion West Bladen in the semi-finals of the Robeson County Slugfest Softball Tournament at St. Pauls.

Coach Pam Stephens’ Lady Knights, now 5-4, will play at 4 p.m. Monday in the Slugfest consolation game against South Robeson.

Sophmore  Sophia Singletary ruined the no-hit bid with a soft liner toward the third-short hole in the fifth inning that the Hoke shortstop dove for but was unable to catch.

The Lady Bucks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as sophmore Caitlyn Crenshaw beat out a 2-out infield hit and raced home when Locklear lined a double to deep right-centerfield.

Sophmore Alanna Ludlum drew a walk in the West Bladen second, courtesy runner Logan Autry was sacrificed to second with two-out but was stranded there.

Sophmore Jenna Dove and senior Amber Bills drew walks in the Lady Knight third inning, but were left on base.

Sophmore Laikyn Pait walked in the West fourth and stole third base with two-out, but was stranded there.

Hoke County capitalized on a pair of Lady Knight errors to tack on an insurance run in the fifth.

Freshman Alexis Blackwell ripped a triple into the leftfield corner to begin the Hoke sixth inning. Blackwell scored on an error, and Locklear’s fielder’s choice, another error and Taylor Jacobs’ 2-run single stretched the lead to 5-0.

Senior Nicole Wyatt reached base on an error in the sixth, but was left on base. Dove walked, and senior Morgan Sweeney was hit by a pitch in the West seventh inning, but became the seventh and eighth Lady Knights to be left on base.

Wyatt allowed 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 6 in her complete game effort –only 2 of the Hoke runs were earned.

Locklear struck out 6, walked 4 and hit 2 batters.

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