LAURINBURG — It was a pitcher’s battle through the first four innings of Friday’s game between the Lady Scots and Southern Lee.
The Lady Cavaliers struck first in the top of the fourth on an error by the Lady Scots. An infield single by Southern Lee turned into an inside the park home run after the throw to first went all the wall to the right-field wall. Trailing 1-0, the Lady Scots started the inning off with long fly ball out by pitcher Sarah McCall before short stop Katie Lighthall crushed a double to left field.
A bunt by catcher Jenna Byrd moved Lighthall into scoring position and put runners on first and third. With one out Lady Scots first baseman Bree Steele made it safely to first on an infield single that scored Lighthall to tie the game. Kayla Walker kept the hitting streak going with a single to right that scored Byrd to give the Lady Scots a 2-1 lead. MacKenzie Powell ended the inning for the Lady Scots with a ground-ball out.
With the game back in hand, McCall made a quick trip to the circle and retired Southern Lee in just three batters. The Lady Scots junior pitched a no hitter throught seven innings allowing just one run with zero walks and 11 strikeouts.
The Lady Scots offense continued to fire on all cylinders in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring three more runs to increase their lead, 5-1. Nakiya Locklear started the inning off with a single to center before Macie Gibson found her way onto the bag with a slap hit to second. Lighthall recorded two RBIs with a double to right to clear the bases. McCall then hit into a infield out before third baseman Jordan Danford hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Lighthall. Byrd ended the inning with a strikeout.
McCall continued to dominate in the circle with another three up, three down inning. The Lady Scots scored their final four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off single from Steele. Walker then hit into a fielder’s choice, as Southern Lee tagged Steele out at second for the first out of the inning. A single into shallow left by Powell and a walk to Daizha McMillian forced Southern Lee called a timeout.
An infield slap hit by Gibson scored Walker and loaded the bases for the Lady Scots. Lighthall then hit a line-drive single past the short-stop for two-more RBIs. McCall walked before Gibson was tagged out at home plate for the second out of the inning. A double to the center field wall by Danford scored the Lady Scots final run of the game.
McCall finished her night in the circle with a strikeout, pop out to Byrd behind the plate and a ground out to third.
The Lady Scots improve to 3-2 while Southern Lee moves to 2-3 overall.
The Lady Scots open their SEC schedule tonight in Pembroke against Purnell Swett. SEC schools will play both of their games against a conference opponent, home and away, in the same week — a change that was implemented last season. The Lady Scots will host the Lady Rams on Friday, March 24 to close out the week. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m., weather permitting.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.