LAURINBURG — As Lady Scots softball seniors favorite memories were read over the loud speaker laughter filled the diamond as the six ladies held back tears.
Macie Gibson, Mason Roberts, Katie Lighthall, Jenna Byrd and Kandon Luquer were weighted down with gifts, balloons, flowers and hugs from their teammates as they took the field in their final home game.
The Lady Scots faced off with league-leading Richmond, ranked No. 6 in the state, and faced the same fate as the other seven teams in the conference — a loss the Lady Raiders. Scotland dropped their eighth game of the season to Richmond, 10-1.
Despite the loss, head coach Adam Romanie credited his team for not giving up and putting the bat on the ball against Richmond junior Greyson Way.
“We put the ball in play, which was one of our goals,” he said.
The Lady Scots managed five hits off Way and were able to plate one run in seven innings. Way threw a complete game tallying one error, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Gibson scored the Lady Scots only run in the bottom of the third after reaching on a slap hit. Junior Katie Smith hit a grounder to Richmond’s short stop to score Gibson from third.
Richmond started the game with three runs in the top of the first before plating another three in the top of the second to take a 6-0 lead.
The Lady Scots defense stepped up in the top of the third and got Smith out of a jam. Richmond’s Taylor Parrish led off the inning with a hard-hit single to Lighthall at short. The Lady Scots senior knocked the ball down, but couldn’t get the throw across the diamond in time. Richmond’s Paige Ransom drove in Parrish on a double to left center.
A walk to Madison Jordan put two runners on for the Lady Raiders when Payton Chappell hit a line drive past second. Lady Scots right fielder Kassee Lowe ran up the ball and made the throw to home to get Ransom at the plate. Byrd popped up and threw the ball to Gibson at third to catch Jordan trying to steal third.
Richmond’s Savannah Lampley reached on an error by Williams, but was thrown out stealing second by Byrd on the next play.
That defensive outing fired up the Lady Scots offense enough to score one.
After allowing eight runs over the first three innings, Smith held the Lady Raiders scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings before Richmond pushed two more runs across in the sixth.
Smith threw a complete game for the Lady Scots allowing 10 runs off 11 hits with nine walks and two strikeouts.
“Katie Smith had some great moments in the circle,” said Romaine.
Offensively, the Lady Scots were led by Gibson who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Lighthall also went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Byrd was 1-for-3.
With the loss, the Lady Scots fall to 9-8 overall and 5-8 in conference play while Richmond moves to 17-3 overall and 13-0 in SAC-8 play to clinch their sixth consecutive regular season conference title.
The two teams are scheduled to meet in Rockingham tonight at 7 p.m., weather permitting. Richmond will celebrate its senior night, so first pitch will be slightly delayed.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]