West punches back, blanks Davie softball

Published 10:12 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

In the Central Piedmont Conference Tournament semifinals, the Davie softball team looked nothing like the team that swept West Forsyth in the regular season.

West started punching back in the top of the first inning and the third-seeded Titans pounded No. 2 Davie 9-0 on May 3 at East Forsyth.

Freshman pitcher Raelyn Lankford beat Reagan on April 8 and outdueled West junior Cate Etcheson on April 22, but she couldn’t repeat that success in Kernersville. In the top of the first, the Titans sent 11 batters to the plate, mixed four hits with two walks and exploded to a 6-0 lead. Two of the runs were unearned.

To put it mildly, it was an off night for the War Eagles. They managed just six hits and made both of the game’s errors. Summer Simpson had the best night at the plate, going 2 for 3. Davie got one hit from Sydney Dirks (1-3), London Dirks (1-3), Carleigh Croom (1-3, double) and Ashley Bledsoe (1-1, triple).

Etcheson shut down the Davie bats after the War Eagles hit .275 (16-58) against her in the first two meetings. This time Davie hit .230 (6-26).

On the plus side, Davie got strong relief pitching from freshman Riley Potts, who took over in the second inning. She retired six of seven in the second and third. After giving up three unearned runs in the fourth, she retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

The six-inning stint was by far Potts’ longest outing of the season. She had worked 10.1 innings in seven relief appearances and had only thrown two innings across 13 games.

“Riley has been gradually working back into her pitching routine following her injury,” coach Debbie Evans said. “She was solid in the circle and that was encouraging for her and our team.”

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In the first round, Davie drubbed No. 7 Parkland 16-0 in two and a half innings at home on May 2. The biggest highlight was McKenzie Mixon’s fifth home run, tying her for the team lead with L. Dirks, S. Dirks and Simpson.

Notes: Parkland finished 1-14. … In the other three first-round games, No. 1 East Forsyth beat No. 8 Reynolds 17-0, No. 4 Reagan beat No. 5 Glenn 12-10 and West Forsyth beat No. 6 Mt. Tabor 10-0. … After the War Eagles swept West 7-5 and 7-4 in the regular season, not trailing in either game, they had a three-game winning streak in the series. … While West improved to 18-6, Davie dropped to 15-8. … In the other semifinal, East survived a scare against Reagan, 5-4. In the final, East rolled over West 9-2.