Cardinals keep soaring

By Hannah King - Sports Writer
East Surry pitcher Autumn Lawson gets ready to deliver a pitch in the Lady Cardinals’ 10-1 victory at West Forsyth on Thursday afternoon. - Hannah King | The News
The Lady Cardinals’ Bethany Clayton checks the list of defensive alignments on her wristband while manning her second base position on Thursday at 4A power West Forsyth. - Hannah King | The News

CLEMMONS — Even the threat of rain couldn’t cool off the East Surry softball team.

Upon completion of seven innings, the visiting East Surry Cardinals boasted a 10-1 score that downed the 4A West Forsyth Titans on Thursday night.

Both squads were held scoreless in the first inning, but the second soon defined the East Surry softball team. The visitors racked up four runs in the second inning and never gave up the lead. The first run for the Cardinals was a result of Maggie Holt’s double. Holt, whose hit fell just short of the left-field fence, drove in Sarah Marion and eventually reached third base on a Titan throwing error. Kelsey Heflin’s line drive drove in Holt for a two-run lead. Bethany Clayton was next to reach base, collecting two bases. Leah Hayes scored after another Titan error. The home team sent another pitcher to the mound, but that was not until after Clayton came home and stretched the lead to 4-0. The Titans walked the next two Cardinals, and East Surry had a chance to score even more, but a foulout left the bases loaded.

In the bottom of the second, East Surry allowed two Titans to reach base, but neither of them came home.

“We had a big inning early in the second inning. After that, our pitcher threw strikes and we were made plays behind her,” said Cardinal head coach Randy Marion. “We always preach and stress, that we don’t want to leave runners on base, especially when you get good teams down, because they can always come back and have that big inning.”

The Cardinals placed runners on the corners with two out in the top of the third, but a strikeout left the visitors scoreless to open up the inning.

West Forsyth’s Emma Conley was hit by pitch to put West Forsyth (10-5) in business in the bottom of the third. Two batters later, Courtney Lamb drove Conley in for the home team’s only run. East Surry pitcher Autumn Lawson bore down, and the third out was collected before the Titans could score anything else.

East Surry opened up the fourth inning by placing a runner on base, but could not convert in bringing her home. The fourth was the third scoreless inning for the Cardinals.

As if East Surry didn’t have a comfortable lead already, the fifth inning saw even more offensive production and broke the game open.

Holt collected a base off of her line drive to start the inning for the Cardinals. Heflin was walked with a 3-2 count. Anna-Kate Badgett loaded the bases with one of the most successful bunts Thursday night saw. Grace Kiser singled in Badgett. The bases were loaded once again, and doubles from Lawson and Allie Bruner helped East Surry compile a monster six-run inning.

Neither squad added any other damage to their total in the last two innings. The 10-1 score that was seen in the fifth inning remained as the final score.

“This is the fourth day in a row that we have gotten ready to play. Monday was rained out at Surry Central, we played on Tuesday and played on Wednesday,” said Marion, whose team is ranked No. 2 in the state’s 1A ranks. “Rebounding from playing yesterday and getting back out here and getting ready to play a great 4A school out here today is what was most impressive. I think we came out and played the best we have played in the entire year all the way around.”

East Surry improved its overall mark to 11-2 after defeating defending 4A state champion West Forsyth, and will continue play on Monday as hosts to Starmount.

East Surry pitcher Autumn Lawson gets ready to deliver a pitch in the Lady Cardinals’ 10-1 victory at West Forsyth on Thursday afternoon.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_DSC_0799.jpgEast Surry pitcher Autumn Lawson gets ready to deliver a pitch in the Lady Cardinals’ 10-1 victory at West Forsyth on Thursday afternoon. Hannah King | The News

The Lady Cardinals’ Bethany Clayton checks the list of defensive alignments on her wristband while manning her second base position on Thursday at 4A power West Forsyth.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_DSC_0802.jpgThe Lady Cardinals’ Bethany Clayton checks the list of defensive alignments on her wristband while manning her second base position on Thursday at 4A power West Forsyth. Hannah King | The News
East Surry softball routs defending 4A champ W. Forsyth

By Hannah King

Sports Writer