The Lakewood Lady Leopards paid a visit to cross-county rival Midway on Friday night for some softball action. The Lady Raiders scored early – and often – rolling to an 11-3 victory.
Things got started for Midway in the bottom of the first inning when the Lady Raiders were able to score three runs off a Blythe Best in-the-park home-run. The first inning would end with Midway up 3-0.
That lead would grow in the second inning to 4-0 when Alyssa Wrench crossed home plate on a passed ball.
Midway continued building its lead in the bottom of the third inning, this time by way of a two out rally. Blythe Best drew a walk, then advanced to second on a Kayley Hawley single. Wrench stepped to the plate and delivered a single to center field, bringing Best and Hawley home. Lakewood would retire the next batter to end the spurt, but Midway’s lead was now 6-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Leopards began to show a little life. Jasmine Brown drew a 1-out walk, followed by a single to center field by Savannah Simmons. Another single to center field by Peyton Crumpler would load the bases for the Lady Leopards with only one out. Two batters later, Hunter Ezzell got a base hit into left field that would score Brown. Summer Thigpen also singled into left field to bring Simmons and Crumpler to cut the deficit to 6-3. Leopard batter Krislyn Bullard sent a blast into center field, but Hannah Lucas was able to make a nice catch to end the threat.
Lakewood would get no closer, as Midway once again cranked the bats in the bottom of the fourth inning. Emily Hairr started the inning after reaching second base on an errant throw to first base. Leah Williams then laid down a bunt that, thanks to a misplay, allowed her to safely reach first and advance Hairr to third base. A wild pitch would then score Hairr.
With still no outs, JJ Sankey stepped to the plate and delivered the second in-the-park home-run for the Lady Raiders, increasing their lead to 9-3. Lakewood would finally get out of the jam, retiring three of the next four Midway batters with no additional damage.
Midway would add two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Haley Brooke West singled on a sharp line drive to left field who then came home when Hannah Lucas hit the third in-the-park home run of the game. Lakewood again retired three of the next four Midway batters to end the inning, trailing 11-3.
Midway would retire the Lady Leopards in order in the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory.
After the game, Midway head coach Leigh Ann Smith was pleased with her team’s performance. “We got see a lot of good things tonight. We hit the ball better and the defense looked good. We just have to keep working hard,” she said.
Midway was led offensively by Lucas with 3 hits and Sankey with 2 hits.
Defensively, Leah Williams pitched four innings, recording 4 strikeouts, 3 walks, and allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Brittany Watson pitched 2 innings, allowing no hits and no walks.
Midway’s next game is Tuesday at 6 p.m. against East Bladen.
Lakewood is set to host Rosewood on Thursday, also at 6 p.m.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected]