Potts sets record with 29 Ks in two games

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The bad news first. The bats struggled in the first two games for the Davie varsity softball team.

Now the good. Pitcher Riley Potts is off to an incredible start. In the season opener, the junior recorded the most strikeouts in seven years. In the second game, she broke the record for Ks in a game.


“Riley has been pitching her butt off,” coach Nathan Handy said after his pitcher totaled 29 Ks in 13 innings.

ND 6, Davie 0

Unsurprisingly, Davie and visiting North Davidson staged a pitchers’ duel in the Feb. 29 season opener. On the home side, Potts was coming off a record 155 strikeouts as a sophomore. On the other side, North had senior lefthander Kayla Milam in the circle, the same pitcher who cuffed Davie 3-1 last year.

It was 0-0 through five innings. Davie finally blinked in the sixth and then things got out of hand.

“From the get-go, Riley was on point,” Handy said. “They only had one hard hit. It sucks as a pitcher to throw one of your better games of your career and come out on the losing side of it. Riley can throw a lot of different pitches. We worked every part of the plate that we possibly could.”

Potts did spectacular work after North put runners at second and third with no outs in the fourth. She coaxed a popout to short before striking out the next two.

Potts, though, could only hold the Black Knights down for so long. In the sixth, they scored five runs on four hits, an error and a walk.

Only three of North’s six runs were earned as Potts struck out 13. Her previous high for Ks was 14 in an 8-8, 12-inning tie with West Rowan last March. Her previous high in a seven-inning game was 11 in a 2-1 loss to West Forsyth last April.

Meanwhile, Davie only managed two hits against Milam. Freshman Raney Phelps and sophomore Jadyn Davis both went 1 for 3. Davie’s only base runner for 6.1 innings was a Hanna Steinour walk in the second. Phelps’ one-out single in the seventh broke up Milam’s no-hitter.

“We were all over it,” Handy said. “We just could not get the ball out of the infield or find a gap. We only had four strikeouts; I’ll take that every day.”

Davie 6, Starmount 3

The offense found life in the third inning and Potts was awesome again as Davie evened its record on the road on March 2.

Potts struck out six in a row, then four in a row. She had two-plus Ks in all six innings, finished with a record 16 and left with a shutout. The old record belonged to two War Eagles – Amy Alexander fanned 15 in a 2-1, 11-inning loss to West Forsyth in 2005, and Olivia Boger had 15 in a 1-0 win over Central Davidson in 2017.

Davie’s offense broke through in the third. After an error and two walks, Phelps lofted a sac fly. Davis followed with a run-scoring single. The second error of the inning allowed a third run.

Davie put up another three-spot in the fourth, when Raelyn Lankford provided a two-run single. The Rams got all of their runs in the seventh after Potts had departed the circle.

“There were two or three balls that were right in the sun that Starmount really struggled with,” Handy said. “Left field and center field were looking directly into the sun because of the game time (4 p.m.). We were the beneficiaries of a couple of mistakes just from them losing them in the sun.”

The offensive star was Lankford, who went 3 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs. Davis was 2-4 with a double. Phelps and Ashley Bledsoe both went 1-2.

“Raelyn had a really good day,” Handy said. “She was on base every time, which is what you want out of a leadoff.”