SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomores Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper and Kay'Lee Justice/Suffolk each hit home runs in the first game, while freshman Mary Simms/Orange had three hits in the second game, as Richard Bland split a non-region softball doubleheader against Stratford University on Wednesday at the Statesman Softball Field. Freshman Megan Vincent/Boykins earned the pitching victory in the 2-1 nightcap for the host Statesmen (16-9), while classmate Joana Holland/Manassas took the pitching setback in the nine-inning, 7-8 opener against the visiting Cardinals (6-18).
In game two, Richard Bland had two runs on six hits … scoring both runs in the fourth inning for the victory. The Statesmen trailed 1-0 through three innings before freshman Allison Jarrett/Virginia Beach provided a clutch pinch-hit RBI double in the fourth to score Justice and tie the contest at 1-1. Classmate Katie Haney/Burkeville later followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to shallow right field that proved the game-winning RBI as Jarrett crossed the plate.
Simms was 3-3 with two doubles and a stolen base, while Jarrett was 1-2 with the double, one run, one RBI and one stolen base.
Vincent (5-3) started in the circle and pitched the 7.0 innings, scattering three hits and one run, earned, with seven strikeouts and one walk.
In game one, Richard Bland had seven runs on 11 hits … scoring one run in the first inning, two runs in the fourth, one run in the fifth, two runs in the sixth and one run in the ninth. The Statesmen led 1-0 through two innings, fell behind 2-1 in the third and 6-1 in the fourth, before closing to within 6-3 in the fourth, 6-4 in the fifth and tying it at 6-6 in the sixth. It remained deadlocked through the regulation seven innings, and neither team scored in the extra eighth, but Stratford plated two runs in the ninth for the win as the hosts scored just one run in the ninth for the final margin.
Brooklynn Bilyard was 2-5 with the home run – her third of the season – one double, one run and two RBIs, while Justice was 1-3 with the home run – her third this spring – two runs, two RBIs and one walk. Freshman Taylor Bilyard/Culpeper was 2-5 with one double and one RBI, sophomore Kamryn Lanier/Chester was 3-4 with one double, Holland was 2-2 with two runs and sophomore Ashley Fritz/Chesterfield was 1-5 with one triple, one run and one RBI.
Freshman Kayla Shaffer/Richmond started in the circle and pitched the first 3.0 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, all earned, with two strikeouts and two walks. Holland (4-2) tossed the final 6.0 innings, yielding four hits and three runs, all earned, with six strikeouts and two walks.
Richard Bland remains at home while continuing its current homestand, hosting a doubleheader against NJCAA Region 10 member Surry (N.C.) on Friday, April 6, at 2 p.m. The Statesmen will also welcome Region 10 members Bryant & Stratton on Wednesday, April 11, at 3 p.m. and Pitt (N.C.) on Friday, April 13, at 3 p.m. Admission is free to all home softball contests.