White Knoll softball rallies to defeat Lexington
Tuesday’s Region 5-5A softball opener qualified as a “statement” game for host team White Knoll and rival Lexington.
A win would help re-certify the defending Class 5A champions’ standing as the team to beat. For the Lady Wildcats, a victory would gain them an early advantage in ending the Lady Timberwolves’ two year region winning streak.
Lexington jumped out to an early 4-0 lead through three innings. Over the next four innings, the Lady Timberwolves roared back with seven unanswered runs and claimed a 7-4 victory.
It was the 23rd consecutive region victory for White Knoll (5-0, 1-0). Shelby Davies sparked the comeback with four RBI on three hits. After surrendering four runs on two hits through the first three innings, pitcher Andrea Lyon held the Lady Wildcats scoreless and finished with 11 strikeouts.
“First off, I think it shows the fight and heart these young ladies have,” White Knoll head coach April Farr said. “From the beginning, we never lost our cool and our kids kept their heads in the game. It was the first big game of the season with a lot of hype going into the game and we just needed to settle down and play White Knoll softball. So they just dug deep and made the adjustments we needed to get a rally going and make things happen.”
Lexington (2-1, 0-1) struck first in the first inning. Sarah Gordon reached and scored on errors at third base to put the Lady Wildcats on the board and Jaci Fleming doubled to center field to make it 2-0.
Fleming struck again in the Top third with a two-run double to right field. It was the final hit allowed by Lyon, who started the comeback in the Bottom fourth with an RBI double off starter Allie Light.
Davies followed with an RBI single, prompting a pitching change from Light to Hannah Kumiyama.
The University of South Carolina signee gave up a single and walk to load the bases, and gave up a wild pitch that scored Davies, bringing White Knoll within 4-3.
In the bottom fifth, Hannah Goodwin was hit to lead off and Lyon took Kumiyama to a full count before singling aboard. Davies continued her torrid hitting with an RBI single to tie the game 3-3.
Light returned to the mound and Lexington was able to escape the inning without further damage. In the sixth, Goodwin put White Knoll ahead with an RBI single and Davies connected with a two-run single to left field for insurance.
“Moving forward it shows that we are a team that is going to fight to the end and we will work hard form this day forward to make adjustments and to keep getting better,” Farr said.
Both teams return to action Thursday for non-region games. White Knoll plays host to Midland Valley, while Lexington travels to Blythewood.
“We came out strong, but we have to finish,” Lexington head coach Laurie Epps said. “I’m proud of our team and the progress we have made thus far. The girls know our goal is to get better everyday. We will continue to work hard and play the game one pitch at a time.”