Softball: West Bladen 10, St. Pauls 2
By John Clark
BLADENBORO – West Bladen seniors Rylee Chadwick and Kylie Durden played key roles in helping their Lady Knights celebrate Senior Night Thursday with a 10-2 Southeastern Athletic Conference softball victory over St Pauls.
Chadwick scattered 5 hits and struck out 9 batters to earn the complete game victory. At the plate Chadwick cracked a single, was hit by pitches twice and scored 3 runs. Durden walloped a double off the right-center field fence and batted 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs.
“We still have a chance to get a piece of the pie,” said Lady Knight Coach Pam Stephens pointing out that a victory over 1st place Midway Friday night would give West Bladen a share of the SAC-7 title. “We hit the ball when we needed to tonight,” added Stephens.
West Bladen improved to 10-1 in the SAC-7 and 15-6 overall and will host 11-0 Midway Friday night. St. Pauls dropped to 5-6 in the league and 10-10 overall and will finish no better than 4th place in the SAC-7.
Junior Gracie Faircloth finished 2-for-4 at the plate for the Lady Knights with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Senior Mackenzie Singletary, junior Megan Pait and freshman Brenna Hester added 1 hit each to the West attack. Senior Kaitlynn Brisson, Pait and freshman Jahyrah Priest scored 1 run each, and Brisson had an RBI.
Chadwick led off the West 3rd inning with a single to center field and raced home when Durden pounded the double. A throwing error – the 1st of 6 in the game for St. Pauls – allowed Durden to score and pad the lead to 2-0.
Four Lady Bulldog errors helped West Bladen blow the game open with 6 runs in the 4th inning. Pait swatted a single to left-center, and Singletary reached base on an error. Chadwick was hit by a pitch, before Durden scorched a single to right field that scored Pait and Priest, the courtesy runner for Singletary.
After Durden stole 2nd base, Faircloth knocked in Chadwick and Durden with a single to center field. Brisson reached base on a throwing error that scored Faircloth, and freshman Kali Allen was hit by a pitch. Two more throwing errors scored Brisson and stretched the lead to 8-0.
The Lady Bulldogs rallied in the 5th as an error and 2 walks loaded the bases before sophomore Madison Locklear launched a 2-run double to left field that trimmed the margin to 8-2.
Chadwick was hit by a pitch to start the 5th inning, and Durden smoked another single through the right side. Brisson’s squeeze bunt plated Chadwick, and Durden scooted home on another St. Pauls error to up the count to 10-2.
Junior Yomaris Vasquez pitched the 1st 5 innings for St. Pauls, and sophomore Kayla Williams worked an inning of relief.
Lady Knight seniors honored before the game were Rylee Chadwick, Kylie Durden, Mackenzie Singletary, Madison Taylor and Kaitlynn Brisson.
St. Pauls 000 020 0 — 2-5-6
West Bladen 002 620 x — 10-9-1