LAURINBURG — The Lady Scots softball team mustered one run in their first and only game of the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament as they fell to Purnell Swett, 4-1 in Pembroke on Tuesday.
No. 6 Scotland entered the game with two previous losses against No. 3 Purnell Swett when the teams met during the regular season. The Lady Rams were victorious in both cases — winning the first meeting, 6-2 on March 13 before defeating the Lady Scots, 2-0 in Laurinburg on March 16.
As the higher seed, the Lady Rams hosted Scotland after two innings of scoreless softball the Lady Scots pushed a run across the plate.
Junior Katie Smith started off the top of the third with a fly out to center field before senior Katie Lighthall grounded out to put the Lady Scots in a two-out hole. Pitcher Bre Steele drew a walk and Nikaya Locklear was put in to pinch run. Locklear stolen second before being driven in on a double to right field by senior Mason Roberts to give the Lady Scots a 1-0 lead.
A ground out by catcher Jenna Byrd ended the inning.
The Lady Rams responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-1 lead — which they would retain through the remainder of the game.
Steele started the inning off with a ground out by Purnell’s MariJo Wilkes, back at the top of the line up Lady Rams center fielder Nakyra Mitchell hit a single to right. Jaileana Deese hit a fly ball to center for the second out.
It looked as if Steele would get out of the inning unscathed but back-to-back singles and a double by Magan Barton scored three runs before two consecutive errors resulted in a fourth run for the Lady Rams. Steele got the final out on a ground ball back to the circle — but the damage was already done.
Steele and the Lady Scots defense held Purnell Swett scoreless through the final four innings as she threw a complete game. Steele allowed four runs off seven hits with three errors and one strikeout.
Purnell Swett saw three batters in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings as the Lady Scots offense couldn’t get off the ground. The Lady Scots managed one run off two hits and left six runners on base.
The other first-round match ups pit No. 7 Pinecrest lost to No. 2 Jack Britt, 10-3 in Hope Mills while No. 8 Seventy-First was demolished by No. 1 Richmond, 29-2 in Rockingham.
No. 5 Hoke was on the road in Lumberton and fell to the No. 4 Lady Pirates, 6-4.
Purnell Swett took on Pinecrest on Wednesday in the second round while Lumberton traveled to Rockingham to take on Richmond.
The SAC-8 championship game will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 4 with the higher seeded team hosting.
Seeding for the NCHSAA 4A playoffs will take place on Monday, May 7 and first round games will begin on Wednesday, May 9.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]