Softball suffers near misses

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The backbone of Davie’s softball team, pitcher Riley Potts, continued to shine in two nerve-wracking games last week, but the bats betrayed the War Eagles, who lost 1-0 to Reagan in the Central Piedmont Conference opener and 2-1 to Northwest Guilford.

In Pfafftown on March 12, Davie lost to Reagan for the first time in 27 all-time meetings. Both pitchers, including freshman Caycee Wilson of Reagan, delivered. But the Raiders were able to scratch out a run in the bottom of the sixth, and that was that.

Potts pitched a four-hitter with no walks and 11 strikeouts. Wilson countered with a three-hit shutout with three walks and 11 Ks.

“We did fantastic on the mound,” coach Nathan Handy said. “Defensively, you can’t ask for anymore than no errors in the game.”

Opportunities were there for Davie. In the first, Raelyn Lankford led off with a single and advanced to second on Carleigh Croom’s bunt. Jaydn Davis drew a two-out walk, but Wilson got the next batter to end the threat.

In the sixth, Lankford singled with one out and stole second. The next two batters, though, were retired.

Reagan broke through in its half of the sixth, scoring the game’s only run on a two-out double.

“They finally got a runner on second and got a ball down in the outfield,” Handy said.

In the seventh, the War Eagles looked prime to pull off a late comeback win. Davis walked and Landry Parsons singled to put runners at the corners. When Addie Brown bunted, Reagan held the ball to keep Davis at third. With the bases loaded and no outs, the door was open.

That fact that Davie, which had won three straight, did not score was unfortunate. A War Eagle struck out on five pitches. The next batter struck out on three pitches. The last batter grounded out to second. It was a gross way for the game to end.

“I liked our chances with no outs and the bases loaded,” Handy said. “I’d say 90 out of 100 times we’re able to get one across. It just wasn’t our night.”

Lankford went 2 for 3. L. Parsons was 1-1. Davis walked twice.

Davie 18, Tabor 1

Davie destroyed Mt. Tabor in Winston-Salem on March 13 to square its CPC record at 1-1. The four-inning game marked the 36th consecutive win over the Spartans.

NWG 2, Davie 1

Because of the weekly thrills of Potts in the circle, the War Eagles had a chance to knock off undefeated Northwest Guilford in a home nonconference game on March 14.

But they’re still trying to find their way offensively. Northwest senior Bel Vardi shoved a two-hitter with nine strikeouts as Davie  (4-3) scored one or zero runs for the third time.

Davie gave the 6-0 Vikings all they could handle as Potts got them 1-2-3 in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings. She walked the first batter of the third but struck out the next three.

Northwest figured out a way to score in the sixth. After back-to-back singles, Potts got the leadoff batter on strikes. But the No. 2 girl hit a two-run double that turned Davie’s lead into a 2-1 deficit.

Davie opened the scoring in the second. After Davis singled and Potts reached on an error, Ashley Bledsoe gave Davie the 1-0 lead with a sac bunt.

Davie drew two walks in the third but failed to score. In the seventh, Bledsoe singled with two outs after Vardi had retired 12 in a row. But Vardi got the next batter to hand Davie its second near-miss in three days.

“We’ve got to perform offensively or Riley is going to have to pitch her butt off every game, the defense is going to have to hold and we’re going to have to find that one opportunity that we’re able to score,” Handy said. “We’ve got to attack the ball better at the plate. Right now we’re seeing golf balls instead of softballs.”

Notes: Northwest made the only error of the game. … Potts’ record slipped to 4-3 despite throwing a four-hitter with 13 Ks. Her ERA is a gaudy 1.02. … Davis (1-3, double) and Bledsoe (1-2) had Davie’s hits.