ELIZABETHTOWN — The Lady Eagles hammered visiting Clinton on Friday behind a three-hitter twirled by Miller Heustess and a nine-run fourth inning that closed out a 19-3 Four County Conference win.
The Lady Dark Horses opened the game with two runs in the top of the first, but East Bladen knotted the game with two runs in the home half on a bases-loaded wild pitch and an RBI infield hit by Faith Johnson.
In the second stanza, the Lady Eagles erupted for five runs when Lauren Merritt singled and walks to Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson and Kaley Smith loaded the bases ahead of a wild pitch and RBI bunt singles from Heustess and Emily Scott. A fielder’s choice by Johnson scored another run and an error brought Scott home for a 7-2 lead.
Clinton nicked the Lady Eagles for a run in the third to close the gap to 7-3, but East Bladen plated a trio of runs in the home half behind a wild pitch, an RBI groundout by Anna Kate White and an RBI double by Scott.
After holding the Lady Dark Horses scoreless in the fourth, East Bladen exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the inning. A single, hit batter and RBI single by Lauren Merritt started the onslaught. An error brought home another run, a wild pitch scored another and a long triple by Smith scored a run. An RBI single by Heustess and two-run double by Johnson gave the Lady Eagles a 17-3 lead, and an RBI single by Olivia Hollingsworth was followed by a wild pitch to finish off the 16-run win.
“(The girls) are showing more confidence and working real hard to improve their fundamentals,” East Bladen coach Patty Evers said. “It was great to see them make plays and show improvement after limited practice.”
Scott was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI for East Bladen; Johnson was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI; and Heustess was 2-for-3 with two RBI; Merritt was 2-for-3 with an RBI; Shardajah Brown was 2-for-4; and Smith had the triple. In the circle, Heustess gave up just the three hits, one walk and fanned seven to get the win.
The Lady Eagles are now 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference. They will host Pender County on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Lady Knights win
In Teachey on Friday, the Lady Knights earned a 5-2 Four County Conference win over Wallace-Rose Hill behind a two-hitter by Sophia Singletary and a trio of doubles from three different West Bladen hitters.
The win improved the Lady Knights to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
Errors by the Lady Bulldogs were followed by an RBI double from Laikyn Pait in the top of the first. A passed ball brought home another run and an RBI single by Carley Dawson gave West Bladen a 3-0 edge.
The Lady Knights added a single run in the second inning when Kathryn Schultz led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and, after a walk, a Wallace-Rose Hill error brought Schultz home for a 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, West Bladen scored a run when Dawson doubled and, moments later, scored on a passed ball.
The Lady Bulldogs avoided the whitewash with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Dawson led West Bladen at the plate, going 2-for-4 with the double and RBI. Pait had the double and RBI, while Jenna Dover also ripped a double. In the circle, Singletary gave up the two hits and struck out five.
The Lady Knights will host Heidi Trask on Tuesday at 6 p.m.