BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Freshman Mary Simms/Orange had three hits and four RBIs in the first game, sophomore Kamryn Lanier/Chester had four hits and two RBIs in the second game, and Lanier had one hit and two RBIs in the third game to lead No. 5 Richard Bland to a pair of wins in three games at the 2018 NJCAA Region 10, District F Softball Championship on Friday at Springwood Park in Burlington, North Carolina. The Statesmen (28-14) defeated No. 4 Southeastern-Whiteville (N.C.) 8-2 in the first game, dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to No. 1 Florence-Darlington Tech (S.C.) in the second game, before bouncing back to defeat No. 7 Patrick Henry 4-2 in an elimination game. Richard Bland will play No. 4 Southeastern-Whiteville in another elimination game on Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m. in North Carolina.
Against No. 4 Southeastern-Whiteville, Richard Bland scored eight runs on 10 hits … with the three decisive runs in the sixth inning and five insurance runs in the seventh inning for the six-run margin of victory.
In the sixth, freshman Taylor Bilyard/Culpeper had an RBI triple to score sophomore Ashley Fritz/Chesterfield, who had reached on an error, while freshman Katie Haney/Burkeville added a sacrifice fly to plate Taylor Bilyard, and Simms added an RBI infield single that scored freshman Skyler Bagnall/Ivor, who had reached on an infield single, as well … proving to be the game-winning run.
In the seventh, the Statesmen added five runs with two outs, including a bases-loaded walk drawn by Haney that plated Taylor Bilyard (walked) and a clutch three-run double by Simms that scored sophomore Kara Morris/Kents Store (walked), Bagnall (reached on error) and Haney.
Simms was 3-5 with the double and four RBIs, Taylor Bilyard was 2-2 with the triple, one run, one RBI and two walks, and Haney was 0-3 with the sacrifice fly, one run, two RBIs and one walk. Lanier was 3-4 with one run, while Bagnall was 1-5 with two runs.
Sophomore Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper (9-4) started in the circle and pitched the first 5.0 innings for the win, scattering four hits and two runs, both earned, with two strikeouts and two walks. Freshman Megan Vincent/Boykins (2) tossed the final 2.0 scoreless innings for the save, yielding no hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Against No. 1 Florence-Darlington, Richard Bland scored three runs on 11 hits with one run each in the first, third and seven innings to lead 3-2. Unfortunately, the nationally-ranked Stingers scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off win.
In the first, Bagnall singled to open the contest and crossed the plate courtesy of a one-out, RBI single by Lanier. In the third, Simms blasted a one-out, solo home run to left field, while in the seventh, Bagnall once-again opened the frame with a lead-off single and scored with two outs via another RBI single by Lanier.
Lanier was 4-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Simms was 1-4 with the homer, one run and one RBI. Bagnall was 2-4 with the two runs, Brooklynn Bilyard was 2-3 with a walk and Haney was 1-3 with a sacrifice.
Vincent (9-6) started in the circle and pitched the 6.2 innings for the tough-luck setback, scattering six hits and four runs, two earned, with two strikeouts and five walks.
Against No. 7 Patrick Henry, Richard Bland scored four runs on seven hits … with the four decisive runs in the third inning toward the two-run margin of victory.
In the third, freshman Jez Chitty/Stafford reached on a one-out single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Haney. Bagnall, who had doubled earlier in the frame, scored unearned courtesy of a fielding error, before Lanier added a clutch two-out, two-run double that plated both Simms and Brooklynn Bilyard. Simms had reached on the error, while Brooklynn Bilyard had singled.
Chitty and Brooklynn Bilyard were each 2-3 with one run, Bagnall was 2-4 with a double and one run, Lanier was 1-3 with the double and two RBIs, while Haney was 0-2 with the sac fly and one RBI.
Freshman Joana Holland/Manassas (8-2) started in the circle and pitched the first 6.0 innings for the win, scattering six hits and two runs, one earned, with five strikeouts and one walk. Brooklynn Bilyard (1) tossed the final 1.0 scoreless inning for the save, yielding no hits with no strikeouts and no walks.
Another win against Southeastern-Whiteville on Saturday morning would advance Richard Bland to yet another elimination game at 12 p.m., the winner moving on to the championship game at 2 p.m., and if necessary in the double-elimination format, a second title contest would follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 2 p.m. game. No. 1 Florence-Darlington Tech and No. 2 Pitt (N.C.) each went 2-0 on Friday and will play each other on Saturday at 10 a.m., as well.
The Region 10, District F Championship winner will advance to the 2018 NJCAA Division II Softball Championship May 16-19 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Mississippi.