PILOT MOUNTAIN — Coach Randy Marion of East Surry can’t be accused of playing a soft nonconference schedule.
The Lady Cardinals (3-2) got their second crack at a 4A school on Saturday, coming away with a 4-2 victory against Reagan at Palmer Field.
East opened the season with a loss to 4A Lake Norman before taking on Starmount, West Stokes and Wilkes Central, all 2A teams. Marion is confident the schedule will pay dividends down the road for his young team.
East has five sophomores in the varsity lineup.
“We’ve got a young group,” Marion said. “I’m always going to challenge them. If you want to go on the road and go deep in the state playoffs, this is what you have to do.”
Laken Bowman, a junior right-hander, started in the pitcher’s circle for the Cards. She allowed two runs off three hits, walked one and struck out one in two innings before giving way to sophomore left-hander Emily Cummings.
Cummings scattered three hits, walked one and struck out six.
In the first inning, Cummings had a base hit to drive in senior catcher Amber Lawson for the first run of the game.
Bowman gave up a single and bunt single to Reagan in the top of the second inning. The runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored a couple of wild pitches from Bowman for a 2-1 Raiders lead.
In the third inning, Bowman singled and later scored on a two-out double from Cummings to even the score. Brooke Whittington, a sophomore, drove in the go-ahead run later in the inning.
East got an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Whittington drew a walk and later scored on a Reagan error.
“We are doing a good job of putting the ball in play. We only had three strikeouts today,” Marion said. “I just want to make sure we are improving and that we continue to get better.”
The Cardinals, a perennial 1A softball powerhouse, lost to a Lake Norman team that won 21 games last season, and fell by one run to Wilkes Central. East defeated Starmount by 10 runs and West Stokes by a run.
Elsewhere in softball action on Saturday, Mount Airy lost to Elkin 15-0 in five innings. The Lady Bears fell to 1-4 overall on the season.
East will hit the road for a Surry County tour this coming week with North Surry (Tuesday), Surry Central (Wednesday) and Mount Airy (Friday).