ELIZABETHTOWN — West Bladen pitcher Sophie Singletary handcuffed the East Bladen hitters for the second time this season, not allowing a ball to reach the outfield and twirling a one-hitter to lead the Lady Knights to a 3-0 Four County Conference win on Thursday. It was West’s 10th straight victory.
Singletary threw a no-hitter at the Lady Eagles on April 15 in a 15-0 win.
After a scoreless first inning on Thursday, West Bladen struck for a pair of runs when Laikyn pate led off the second inning with a single to left and stole second base ahead of a fly ball by Singletary that pushed Pait to third. Jenna Dove followed with an infield hit that froze Pait at third and, after Dove stole second, Kathryn Schultz drove Pait home with a groundout and Conner Brisson reached on an error that brought Dove home for a 2-0 lead.
The next three innings were scoreless, as East Bladen pitcher Miller Heustess allowed just two hits over those middle innings and kept the Lady Eagles in the game.
But in the top of the sixth, the Lady Knights plated an insurance run when Pait led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a groundout by Dove two hitters later.
Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson broke up Singletary’s bid for a no-hitter with an infield single, but East Bladen could get nothing else.
West Bladen threatened in the seventh when Logan Autry reached on a two-out infield single, followed by a single to left by Dawson. An error on the throw back to the infield allowed Autry and Dawson to move up a base and Ludlum be;ted a long fly to left that got tracked down just shy of the fence to end the threat.
East Bladen went quietly in the home half to finish the game.
“We got enough hitting, good pitching and excellent defense,” said West Bladen coach Joey Autry. “But East Bladen played great and we had to battle to get this one.”
“Miller pitched real well tonight — probably her best game of the season against a good team,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “I’m very proud of how she has led us this season and this team has really improved.”
Dawson led the Lady Knights at the plate, going 3-for-4, while Pait was 2-for-3 with a double and Dove was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
For the Lady Eagles, Moore-Peterson was 1-for-2 and Anna Kate White was the only other East Bladen hitter to reach base, that on a second-inning walk.
Singletary earned the win for West Bladen, going seven innings and giving up one hit, one walk and striking out four. Heustess took the loss for East Bladen, going seven innings and giving up eight hits, one walk and fanning none.