South Lenoir defeats Greene Central on Rams' Senior Recognition Night
South Lenoir’s Mallory Dawson prepares to field a grounder during Wednesday’s game against Greene Central. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL — One day after having its Senior Night affected, South Lenoir did the same to Greene Central — sort of.
The Blue Devils picked up a 7-1 win over the Rams Wednesday to secure a share of second place in the Eastern Carolina Conference. Washington’s 5-4 victory over South Lenoir (9-6, 8-3) secured the conference for the Pam Pack, but the Blue Devils came out hot and never let the Rams (10-4, 7-4) garner control.
“I feel like in this game we were able to hit the ball better and did a lot of the little things we didn’t (against Washington),” South Lenoir catcher Allie Parker said. “We knew what we had to do and got the win.”
A fielder’s choice on a Logan Lucas grounder, followed by a wild pitch gave South Lenoir a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but Daly Keel struck back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single. The Blue Devils answered in the second with Kenly Hardison’s single and a 2-run triple from Sara Beth Stroud to go ahead 5-1.
“We worked as a team really well today, talking to each other and picking one another up all game,” Stroud said.
It was all the insurance Lucas needed, as she allowed just five hits in a complete game effort. Mallory Dawson would add two more runs in the top of the fifth with a 2-run inside-the-park home run to close the scoring.
Although this was Greene Central’s final home game in conference play, Rams coach Kim Jones said there’s an effort for a true Senior Night April 29 against Farmville Central in a game which was rescheduled due to rain.
“This was more of a Senior Recognition Night, where we wanted to do something special for these ladies,” Jones said. “What they’ve done over the past four years is probably the best fast-pitch softball stretch in Greene Central history. We have four great seniors and they’ve done a lot for this program.”
The Rams seniors — Madison Holloman, Elexie Sutton, Katelin Uzzell and Allison Wade — compiled a 65-21 record over the past four years, including a share of the ECC conference title in 2017 and a trip to the third round of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs in 2016.
“I think we’ve really put together a great legacy here,” Uzzell said. “We’ve had some really good records over the years and I’m thankful for all of my teammates.”
Holloman said 2019 has been a surprisingly strong year considering the talent the team lost from 2018.
“We had to replace our starting catcher (in Aniyah Jones), pitcher (Hannah Burress) and centerfielder (Mahkala Jones), but we’ve been able to play better than we thought,” Holloman said.
Sutton, who stepped up to play in the outfield, said she felt obligated in the role.
“As a senior, that’s what I’m supposed to do — it’s my duty to help out the team and I was glad to fill in the role,” Sutton said.
There are still several games remaining on the schedule and Wade said she’s confident about the rest of the season.
“I think we’ve done a great job so far,” Wade said. “There are no issues with team chemistry and we’ve bonded the entire time.”