PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Cardinals beat Starmount 13-3 in five innings Thursday.
East Surry evened its record at 1-1 after losing its opener to Lake Norman 13-1 on Wednesday.
The Cards managed just four hits (all singles) on the road, but found their offense at home against the Lady Rams.
The Cards have a vastly different look this year after losing four seniors who were an integral part of the 2011 state championship team: Jessica Barker, Brooke Bowman, Kristen Cummings and Kelsey Wilson.
The team also has new coaches as Randy Marion takes over for Derrick Hill, and trainer Tim Bodford assists.
That’s not to say the cupboard is bare as East returns some of its top hitters.
As a freshman, Emily Cummings tore up pitchers with an electric .434 batting average and a team-high 33 hits, 11 doubles and 29 RBIs.
Amber Lawson was second to Cummings with nine doubles and 25 RBIs while batting .355.
Olivia Sheets hit .360 and scored 21 runs.
Laken Bowman was tied for third on the team with 20 RBIs while hitting a respectable .273.
Those four players had a big impact on Thursday’s game.
Lawson had a sacrifice fly, single, double and home run with seven RBIs. Sheets had two hits and two walks and scored all four times.
Cummings walked in the second, singled in the fifth and was brought home both times by Lawson.
Bowman went all five innings on the mound. Even though the Rams scored three times, all the runs were unearned due to infield errors. She allowed just six hits, struck out six and walked just one.
In the bottom of the first, the Cards pushed two across.
Sheets walked, stole second and took third on a groundout by Bowman.
Lawson singled her home and later made it to second where she scored off a single from Brooke Whittington.
In the top of the second, Starmount reached on an infield error. A single and then another infield error allowed a run to score. A second single tied the game at 2-2.
The Cards didn’t wait to answer, getting three runs in the bottom of the second.
The first two batters walked. Then Bowman fouled off a couple of two-strike pitches before walking to load the bases.
Cummings also fouled off a couple of potential third strikes before drawing a walk to force in a run.
Lawson then ripped a ball down the third-base line to bring in two more runs for a 5-2 lead.
Cummings hesitated at second before trying for third and was gunned down.
In the top of the third, Bowman had her only walk of the game.
The coaches were directing the infielders to look for a double play on the next batter. A bouncer went to the third baseman, who threw to second, but the fielder wasn’t there yet, and the ball went into right field.
This is a young team with five sophomores and six juniors making up 11 of the 14 spots, noted Marion.
With the bad weather limiting practice time, the girls haven’t had much time to get those kinds of complicated movements down yet, he said.
A sacrifice fly to center brought home the Rams’ last run to make it 5-3.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, the Cards would hang four more runs on the scoreboard.
Sarah Moore led off with a bloop single to center. A stolen base and a wild pitch moved her to third.
Serena Pickens was hit by a pitch, then stole second.
Sheets singled home Moore, then took second on the throw to the plate with Pickens stopping at third.
Bowman singled to center and took second as the outfielder bobbled the ball, allowing Pickens and Sheets to score.
The lead was 8-3, and the Cards still didn’t have an out.
Cummings grounded out to move Bowman to third.
Lawson lifted a fly ball to left with Bowman tagging up.
The left fielder made a great throw to the plate, but the catcher couldn’t come up with the bounce, allowing Bowman to score.
In the fourth, Starmount got a leadoff double, but Bowman got the next three out to stop the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sheets tripled and scored off a wild pitch.
Bowman walked, and Cummings singled before Lawson ended the game early with a blast over the fence in left.
If the weather permits, the Cards are scheduled to travel to Forbush this afternoon.