07/16/2019
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MascotROCKY POINT – West Bladen exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning to snap a 3-3 tie and propel the Lady Knights to a big 12-5 Four County Conference softball victory over first-place Heide Trask.

The victory by Coach Joey Autry’s Lady Knights ended a 30-game Four County Conference winning streak for Heide Trask. The last Four County team to defeat the Lady Titans was West Bladen 4-1 on April 2, 2014 at West.

Junior Kassidy Anderson was hit by a pitch to begin the Lady Knight first inning. After an infield out, freshman Carley Dawson knocked in Anderson with a single for a 1-0 lead.

The first three Trask batters reached base on 2 walks and a hit batter. An infield out and an error brought all 3 of them home for a 3-1 Lady Titan lead after an inning.

After West Bladen catcher Alanna Ludlum threw out a Trask runner attempting to steal for the second out in the first, Lady Knight starting pitcher Sophia Singletary retired 7 batters in a row, 11 of the next 13 batters and 14 of the next 18.

“Sophia did a great job of working herself out of that first inning jam that she got herself into,” said Lady Knight Coach Joey Autry. “She did a great job of throwing strikes and getting ahead.

Trask held the 3-1 lead until the top of the fourth. Junior Jenna Dove cracked a one-out single, and junior Kathryn Schultz walloped a double to drive in Dove. After freshman Conner Brisson was hit by a pitch, junior Logan Autry drove in Dove with a 2-out single that tied the game 3-3.

Ludlum reached base on an error to begin the West Bladen fifth inning. Junior Laikyn Pait walked, and Singletary slapped a ball off the pitcher to reach base. Dove reached base on an error that scored Ludlum with the tiebreaking run.

Schultz drew a walk that forced home Pait, and Brisson smacked a 2-run single that scored Patience Parker, the courtesy runner for Singletary, and Dove for a 7-3 West lead. Anderson walloped a 2-run double that drove in Schultz and Brisson.

Autry connected for a single, and one out later Ludlum slammed a 2-run double that scored Anderson and Autry. Ludlum moved up on a passed ball and scored on Pait’s infield out to cap the 9-run inning and push the lead to 12-3.

The Lady Knights sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth inning. “We finally put it together in that inning,” said Coach Autry. “ We had some opportunities early and were on the verge of breaking it open, but the girls kept battling and we got hits up-and-down the line-up. Kathryn Schultz had 2 big hits, and Kassidy had a big double in the big inning.”

The Lady Titans capitalized on an error to score a run in the bottom of the fifth and bunched 4 hits together for another run in the sixth.

Singletary allowed 5 runs – 3 earned – on 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 hit batters while striking out one as she evened her season record at 7-7.

Schultz batted 2-2 with a double, 2 runs batted in and 2 runs scored. Anderson finished 2-4 at the plate with a double, 2 rbi’s and 2 runs scored. Autry was 2-5 with an rbi and a run scored. Dawson batted 2-5 with an rbi.

Ludlum blasted the 2-run double and scored twice. Brisson belted the 2-run single and scored a run. Dove added a single and scored twice. Pait drove in a run and scored a run, and Parker scored a run.

West Bladen outhit Trask 11-6. “This was a quality win over a quality team,” continued Coach Autry. “Just a great win for our program. The girls are really dialed in right now and are just having fun.”

West Bladen improves to 7-2 in the league and moves to within one game of Trask in the league standings. The Lady Knights are 10-7 overall and have won 6 games in a row by an average margin of 18-4.

The Lady Knights will host Wallace-Rose Hill Friday at 6 p.m.

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