PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry is entering one of the toughest stretches of its season, with games against West Stokes and North Stokes just over the horizon. If the Lady Cards’ recent performances on the diamond are any indication, Randy Marion’s squad is ready to face the giants.
The Lady Cards defeated McMichael (1-10, 1-5) 12-0 for win number 11 on the season. East Surry (11-3, 2-2) has won four straight games and outscored opponents 41-7 in that span.
Two of the Cards’ three losses this season came at the hand of the state’s top 1A team, North Stokes. With the third and final regular season match-up with the Vikings in a week’s time, East Surry had no shortage of motivation in Friday’s game.
Autumn Lawson got the win for the Cardinals on the mound. Lawson pitched the first three innings and had three strikeouts, four walks, and zero hits allowed.
Two of Lawson’s bases on balls came in the top of the first inning. She redeemed herself with a strikeout to end the inning and keep the Phoenix from scoring.
Lead-off hitter Bethany Clayton got on first via a walk and stole second to get into scoring position. Clayton advanced to third on a groundout by Lawson. McMichael forced the third out before Clayton could score.
The second inning flew by. On defense, Lawson threw two strikeouts and forced a groundout. Two Cardinals were walked in the bottom of the inning, but that was the only action.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the third that things really picked up.
East Surry started at the top of the lineup with Clayton being walked again. She stole second and was able to score when a bunt by Morgan Smith was overthrown at first.
With the first run out of the way, East Surry opened the floodgates. The bases were soon loaded after Lawson was hit by a pitch and Allie Bruner was walked.
Tynlee Jones hammered a ground ball between first and second and into right field. This gave Jones a hit that scored Smith and Lawson’s designated runner, Leah Hayes.
A fielding error by McMichael allowed Hali Scott, running for Bruner, to score and put East Surry up 4-0.
The scoring didn’t stop there. An RBI single by Maggie Holt scored Jones. Kelsey Heflin joined Jones on base with a single of her own. Both scored on a two-RBI single from Anna-Kate Badgett.
The final run of the inning came when Clayton hit an RBI single to score Badgett.
Scott took the mound for East in the top of the fourth. In two innings, Scott had two strikeouts and allowed just a single hit.
Madison Lemons recorded the Phoenix’s sole hit in the fourth. However, Lemons was part of a double play by East Surry to end the inning.
Jones began the bottom of the fourth with a double, and was joined by Holt soon after. Holt attempted to move Jones to third with a sacrifice bunt, but made it to second base due to a fielding error by the Phoenix.
Sarah Marion smashed the ball into right field to score both Jones and Holt. Marion’s double put East Surry up 10-0.
Hayes was up next and she was walked. A sacrifice from Clayton scored Marion, extending the lead to 11-0. The final run of the evening was scored when Hayes scored after a wild pitch.
McMichael needed at least three runs in the top of the fifth to keep the game going. However, Scott threw two strikeouts and forced a groundout to end the game, 12-0.
East Surry will play three games next week. On Monday, the Cards travel across the county line to West Stokes (12-1, 6-1). The road trip continues on Wednesday when East plays Davie (5-7, 1-2).
Finally, East Surry returns home to host North Stokes (12-2, 3-0) on Friday.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith