FOUR OAKS — South Johnston, coming off of its first loss of the season, was doing a good job of starting things in the first two innings of its Two Rivers 3A Conference game against Corinth Holders Friday afternoon. The Trojans weren’t finishing, however, leaving multiple runners on base in the first and second innings.
It felt much like the Trojans’ previous conference outing, a 10-inning loss to Triton five days previously.
Then came the third inning and South found itself right back in the race for the conference championship as a six-run outburst keyed a 10-3 victory over the Pirates.
The Trojans (7-1, 1-1) put together a two-out rally that saw seven straight batters reach base.
Kayla Allen, a Mount Olive recruit, reached on an infield error and Madison Byrd followed with a walk. Lauren Higgins lined a single to left, loading the bases for Carrisa Womble who doubled to the center field fence, scoring all three runners.
Caroline Dorman followed with a run-scoring single before Anna Webster capped the rally with the biggest blast of the night, a home run over the left field fence for a 6-0 advantage.
“You just never know when that’s going to happen,” said South coach Mickey Bridgers. “We got fortunate in that inning. It created a little momentum once it started and everybody fed off of it.”
South made a batting order juggled from the one that took the field against Triton work to its benefit throughout the rainy afternoon. The 10 hits the Trojans totaled were collected by eight of the nine starters in the lineup.
“We adjusted it a little tonight, trying to take advantage of our speed up and down the lineup a bit more,” Bridgers said. “You look at matchups against the opposing pitcher and try to put your best lineup out there in that situation. We’re just trying to give our girls their best chance to be successful.”
Womble and Krista Collins had two hits each for South in the win.
“They’re just good,” said Corinth Holders coach Jessica Potter of South Johnston’s offense. “They’re a veteran, proven team and they swing to make contact. They’re going to make you get them out.”
The Pirates (3-6, 0-2) got on the board in the fourth when Kelsie Hocutt doubled home Brandy Davis but couldn’t counter South’s big inning with one of their own to truly get back into the game.
“Our bats have been the thing we’ve been trying to get more consistent,” said Corinth Holders coach Jessica Potter. “We’ve just got to be able to string them together.”
Two more runs for South came home in the bottom of the fourth when the Pirates couldn’t corral an Allen fly ball in the outfield. Later in the same frame, Lauren Higgins’ sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 9-1.
Kayla Narron doubled in two runners – Holly Price and Hocutt – in the sixth to get within 9-3. Hocutt went 2-for-3 on the night.
Higgins held the Pirates to four hits and two earned runs on the afternoon. She struck out eight, several with off-speed pitches, and walked just one batter.
South’s final run came in the bottom half of the inning with Allen scoring on a Byrd single.
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