Lady Knights fall in playoffs, 6-3

KENLY — The Lady Knights rallied once, but couldn’t do it again Friday, falling to North Johnston 6-3 in the second round of the state’s Class 2-A softball playoffs.

The loss closes out West Bladen’s season at 15-9.

After a scoreless first inning, Laikyn Pait put the Lady Knights up 1-0 with a solo blast over the left-center fence. But that lead was short-lived.

The Lady Panthers touched up Pitcher Sophia Singletary for three hits in the home half of the inning and, along with the help of a West Bladen error, scored three runs to take a 3-1 edge.

The third inning went by uneventfully but, in the top of the fourth, the Lady Knights manufactured a rally. Carley Dawson and Alanna Ludlum each laced singles and a North Johnston error on a ball hit by Pait drove home Dawson and kept two runners on. A fielder’s choice by Singletary scored the tying run moments later.

Once again, the Lady Panthers responded right away.

In the bottom of the fourth, North Johnston put together three hits and a sacrifice fly to score a pair of runs and take a 5-3 advantage.

The Lady Panthers added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth frame to open a 6-3 lead.

West Bladen couldn’t mount a serious threat over the last three innings.

Singletary suffered the loss in the circle for the Lady Knights, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and two walks. She finished 11-9 on the season.

West Bladen managed just three hits in the game — Pait’s home run, Dawson’s single and Ludlum’s single.

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