DUBLIN — A seventh-inning rally couldn’t dig West Bladen out of the hole it had dug, and the Lady Knights dropped a non-conference game to visiting Freedom Christian, 11-7.
Prior to the game, the two teams gathered around home plate with their coaches, and West Bladen Athletics Director Kim Cain honored Freedom Christian coach Eddie Dees — whom Cain coached for 11 years with at South View High. Dees is currently battling cancer.
The Patriots opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning on a single, fielder’s choice and RBI double. But the real damage came in the top of the second inning, when the visitors erupted for four runs thanks to some help from West Bladen in the form of three errors.
The Lady Knights nicked Freedom Christian for a run in the bottom of the second when Alanna Ludlum led off with a walk and scored on Carley Dawson’s double to right-center, cutting the deficit to 5-1.
The Lady Patriots tacked on a pair of runs in the third inning behind a hit batter and two singles for a 7-1 edge, but West Bladen answered with three runs in the home half. Kathryn Schultz led off with a single, Kassidy Anderson walked and Sophia Singletary launched a long triple to left-center that scored two. Moments later, Singletary scampered home on a passed ball to cut Freedom Christian’s lead to 7-4.
After a scoreless fourth frame, the Lady Patriots tacked on a run for an 8-4 advantage, then added three more runs in the top of the sixth to open an 11-4 lead.
West Bladen began a rally in the bottom of the seventh when Anderson led off with an infield single, Singletary reached on an error and a throwing miscue sent the runners to second and third. Laikyn Pait dropped a double down the right field line that scored two runs and Ludlum reached on an error that brought Pait home.
But that’s where the rally fizzled when the next three batters went 1-2-3.
“We kept fighting,” said West Bladen coach Joey Autry. “We have a lot of young players with a lot of potential, and I’m proud they kept battling.
“It wasn’t a solid game in the field,” he added.
It wasn’t solid for either team. There were 11 errors in the game, with the Lady Knights making six.
Dawson was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and RBI; Singletary was 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI; Pait was 1-for-4 with a double and RBI; Anderson and Schultz were each 1-for-3.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.