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BLADENBORO – Senior Gracie Faircloth pitched a 4-hitter, struck out 9 batters and walked none Monday night to lead West Bladen to a 12-2 mercy-rule non-conference softball victory over West Columbus.

Coach Kaitlyn Sykes’ Lady Knights improved to 5-7 with the victory and will visit Red Springs Tuesday night. West Columbus is now 3-16 overall.

Faircloth led off the Lady Knight 1st with a walk, and junior Marlie Walters yanked a single past shortstop. After a force-out at 2nd, sophomore Kali Allen was hit by a pitch, and sophomore Natalee Sykes raked a single to left that scored Faircloth for a 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Breanna Hester’s line drive was misplayed for a 2-base error to start the Lady Knight 2nd inning. Hester stole 3rd base and dashed home on an error. Senior Megan Pait smacked a single to center field, and Faircloth belted a single to left. Junior Holland Davis reached base on an error that scored Pait.

Walters walked, and Faircloth raced home on a passed ball. Walters sprinted home on a wild pitch, and junior Kallie Bass’ fielder’s choice plated Davis. Allen walked and stole 2nd base. After junior Marlene Crabtree walked, Allen stole home on the back end of a double steal with Crabtree to cap the 6-run inning and push the lead to 7-0.

Hester was hit by a pitch to begin the home 3rd inning but was forced at 2nd by Pait. Davis reached base on an error that sent Pait to 3rd base. Walters knocked in Pait with a single to the right side.

Hanna Lilly and Kaleigh Blackwell slammed doubles in the Lady Viking 4th inning and both of them scored to trim the margin to 8-2.

Allen laced a single to left to start the Lady Knight 4th inning. Crabtree walked, and both runners advanced on Hester’s fielder’s choice. After Pait walked, Allen darted home on a wild pitch to up the count to 9-2.

Davis walked to begin the Lady Knight 5th inning but was caught stealing. Walters was hit by a pitch, and Bass reached base on an error. Sykes cracked a single to load the bases. Crabtree smoked a single to left that scored Walters and Bass. Hester drove in Sykes with the game-ending run with a single to the left side.

Walters batted 2-for-2 with a run batted in and 2 runs scored. Sykes finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Faircloth, Allen, Crabtree, Hester and Pait connected for 1 hit each. Crabtree contributed 2 RBIs, and Davis, Bass and Hester had 1 RBI each. Faircloth, Allen and Pait scored 2 runs each. Davis, Bass and Hester scored 1 run each.

Lilly batted 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored for the visitors. Blackwell doubled, had 1 RBI and a run scored. Junior Layla King tripled, and freshman Briley Bowen had an RBI. Junior Isabella Rogers pitched all 4.2 innings for the Lady Vikings and allowed 12 runs – 1 earned- on 9 hits and 7 walks while striking out 1.

West Columbus  000 20 —   2-4-6
West Bladen        161    13 — 12-9-1

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