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Softball: Whiteville 16, West Bladen 3

DUBLIN – Whiteville slugged a trio of home runs and defeated West Bladen 16-3 Wednesday in Three Rivers Conference softball action.

Run-scoring singles by pitcher Ivy Hayes in the first inning and Raeganne Sholar in the second produced a 2-0 lead, and Kaitlyn Gordon drove a 2-run home run over the leftfield fence in the third inning.

Sophmore Kyla Reed laced a single to left in the West third inning. Sophmore Alara Cashwell was hit by a pitch. Reed stole third base then raced home with the first Lady Knight run when the throw skipped away down the leftfield line.

A solo home run by Lauren Hilbourn and a 2-run blast by Kourtney Grainger keyed a 6-run Whiteville fourth inning that padded the lead to 10-1.

Senior Madison Collins drilled a double into the leftfield corner to start the Lady Knight fourth inning. Senior Abby Dawson reached base on an infield hit. A wild pitch moved freshman Natalie Ludlum, the courtesy runner for Collins, to third base, and Ludlum sprinted home on Jordan Benson’s fielder’s choice.

Whiteville tacked on six more runs in the fifth, before Reed blasted a solo home run down the left field line for the final Lady Knight run in the fifth inning.

Reed batted 2-3 with the home run and 2 runs scored to lead the Lady Knights. Collins slammed the double, and Abby Dawson contributed the other West Bladen hit.

Collins pitched the first 4 innings for West Bladen. Freshman Shelby Pharr relieved her in the fifth inning and was credited with a third of an inning before Collins returned to the circle to record the final two outs.

Hayes pitched all 5 innings for Whiteville and batted 2-3 with 2 runs batted in. Sholar finished 3-3 at the plate with 2 rbi’s, and Kiara Wilson and Carrie Ann Wilkins were both 2-4.

Grainger batted 2-5 with the 2-run homer. Gordon clubbed a 2-run homer and Hilbourn had the solo homer.

“The score doesn’t reflect some of the good things we did,” said Lady Knight Coach Pam Stephens. “Whiteville is a very good team and one of the very best teams in the state.”

West Bladen, now 3-2 in conference play and 3-3 overall, will host West Columbus Friday night.

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