The Midway soccer and softball teams were in action on Thursday, travelling to take on the Lady Panthers of East Duplin in more conference action. It was a successful night on the softball field as they sprung an upset over the home team while the soccer team dropped a hard fought nail-biter.
The Lady Panthers entered the game alone atop the standings in the East Central Conference but Midway, who has been playing solid ball since the D.H. Conley Easter Tournament in Greenville over the break, proved they were not going to be intimidated. The Lady Raiders beat East Duplin, 7-6.
The first two innings were very much a pitchers’ duel as neither team had much offense working for them. The Raiders were held to three-up-three-down in the first two innings while East Duplin stranded a pair of runners.
All of sudden, the Midway bats ignited in the third inning as the Lady Raiders erupted for three runs.
Abby Baggett sent a well-hit ball deep into center field that carried beyond the reach of the center fielder. Baggett claimed a stand up double and was batted in by Caitlyn Holland to give Midway the 1-0 lead.
JJ Sankey was the next at bat and was safely aboard as her bunt attempt led to a no-play situation. The next at bat was Leah Williams, whose bunt attempt led to an errant throw at first that allowed Holland and Sankey to score to make it 3-0.
The Lady Panthers finally got out of the jam with a flyout to stop the assault.
East Duplin managed to get one run back in the bottom of the third, but otherwise solid defense from Midway kept the Lady Panthers in check as the game moved to the fourth.
Midway again went down in three-up, three-down fashion but fortunately for them so did East Duplin.
Now in the fifth, the Raiders once again got cranked up for another big inning.
Holland got things started with a short fly ball into left. The ball fell safely to the ground, just out of reach of the defense, as Holland stood at first. Next up was Sankey, who rifled a line drive into right field, moving Holland. After an errant throw, Holland raced home for the score as the speed of Sankey allowed her to move all the way over to third.
Midway kept coming as Sankey, Williams and Hannah Lucas all crossed home plate to make it 7-1.
However, East Duplin proved why they’re a solid team. The Lady Panthers were able to get back three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a manageable 7-4.
They made it even more interesting in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-6, but Midway’s defense stood tall and thwarted any thoughts of East Duplin completing the comeback.
Leading Midway offensively on the night was Holland, who had a solid three hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
Williams and Sankey each contributed two hits apiece.
For Midway, the win improves their record to 8-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play. They are back in action next week with a road trip to Hobbton on Monday, a doubleheader against Spring Creek on Tuesday and another big game at Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday.
Over on the soccer field, a valiant effort by the Lady Raiders came up just a tad short. After battling to a scoreless tie at halftime, East Duplin answered first with with a pair of goals to make it 2-0. Unfortunately for Midway, the Raiders just couldn’t muster up much offense to respond.
With just under two minutes to go in the game, the Lady Raiders were awarded a penalty kick opportunity. Senior Kasey McLamb converted the PK, making it 2-1, but the Raiders couldn’t do further damage as East Duplin hung on for the 2-1 win.
With the loss, Midway drops to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference. They are also slated to travel to Hobbton on Monday, followed by a home game on Tuesday against Spring Creek and road trip to Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.