Blue Devils softball wins sixth straight
DEEP RUN — South Lenoir softball is back with a vengeance.
The Blue Devils defeated West Craven 10-0 Thursday, following a second extra-innings game with Ayden-Grifton. South Lenoir (8-5, 7-2 Eastern Carolina 2A) fell to the Chargers 8-7 in 13 innings on March 15, but got revenge with a 9-4 win Wednesday in eight.
On Thursday, Eagles (3-11, 1-7) were grounded early, giving the Blue Devils their sixth straight win and making their 1-4 start to the season a distant memory.
“We’re doing a much better job in this stretch of the season, working hard and sacrificing for each other,” South Lenoir coach Lisa Smith said. “We’re doing the little things well and just playing ball.”
South Lenoir scored in every inning Thursday, starting with Sara Beth Stroud’s RBI triple in the bottom of the first. Logan Lucas followed with an RBI single before Megan Aldridge’s sacrifice grounder made it 3-0. The offense registered 11 hits in the contest, as Stroud was one of four Blue Devils with two hits or more.
“I had been struggling lately at the plate, but I’m getting my confidence back,” Stroud said. “As I started heating up, it seemed like everyone else was getting hot and backing me up.”
Samantha Sutton’s RBI single in the bottom of the second, followed by a pair of run-scoring wild pitches in the third put South Lenoir up 6-0. The Blue Devils would add three runs in the fourth on an error, Aldridge RBI triple and Mallory Dawson sacrifice fly before ending the game in the fifth on Logan Lucas’ base hit.
On the mound, Rebekah Howard allowed five hits and struck out seven in the shutout.
“This was my first game back from being sick and everyone kept supporting me during this game,” Howard said.
South Lenoir has a pivotal contest with undefeated Washington Tuesday on Senior Night, as the Blue Devils hope to avenge a 3-0 defeat on March 22 against a team ranked fourth in the state according to Maxpreps.
Blue Devils catcher Allie Parker said the team is playing its best softball, as South Lenoir hasn’t lost since the game with the Pam Pack.
“We’ve been playing a lot better as a team, which we didn’t do at the beginning of the season,” Parker said. “We’ve been playing for everyone else instead of individually, and I think we have a shot at getting back into the conference race.”