With first place in the East Central Conference on the line, the Lady Raiders and East Duplin squared off in a contest that was sure to entertain. After a hard fought battle, Midway secured the 6-3 win, completing the season sweep and putting themselves alone atop the conference.
Midway scored one run to draw first blood in the bottom of the second inning to get things started. Alyssa Wrench hit a sharp grounder down the third base line that ricocheted off the glove of the third baseman. Wrench, safe on the play, used aggressive base running to score for the 1-0.
The game remained deadlocked at 1-0 until disaster struck in the top of the sixth. Freshman Pitcher Miranda Holmes surrendered a walk to Summer Mercer to give the Lady Panthers a runner aboard. Kaylee Edwards then laid down what should’ve been a routine sacrifice bunt to advance Mercer to second. Instead, an errant throw at first led to a series of errors that allowed both Mercer and Edwards to score and give East Duplin a 2-1 lead.
With the game low-scoring in nature, the Lady Raiders backs seemed to be against the wall, but what happened next was anything but. Midway got out of the jam and in the bottom of the sixth unleashed a scoring barrage to reclaim the lead in impressive fashion.
Hannah Lucas got aboard and was then scored by another big hit by Wrench. Wrench’s shot to left field was inches from being a home run but the junior big-stick still reached third to keep Midway in business. Laura Person then hit a shot into center to score Wrench to put Midway back in front, 3-2.
The Lady Raiders were far from finished though. Abby Baggett got aboard with a base hit into right field followed by Erin Barefoot getting a base bit of her own to score Person. Caitlyn Holland belted a shot into left field to score Baggett and Barefoot and was later scored before the end of the winning to give Midway a 6-2 lead.
The Lady Panthers managed to pick up one run in the top of the seventh to make it 6-3, but with two outs already against them that was as close as they could get as Midway held on.
Leading Midway at the plate was Baggett with two hits. Leah Williams, Blythe Best, Wrench, Barefoot, Person and Holland all had one hit each.
With the win, Midway improves to 14-5 overall. Their 8-1 conference record and season sweep of East Duplin puts them alone at the top of East Central Conference with two games to go.
Those games will be played Wednesday and Thursday as Clinton comes to Spivey’s Corner on Wednesday and Midway travels to Goldsboro on Thursday.
Over on the soccer field, for the second time this season, the Lady Panthers bested the Lady Raiders, 2-1.
East Duplin scores two quick goals out of the gate to go up 2-0. Carlie Carroll scored one goal to answer, making it 2-1, but that score held the rest of way through.
With the loss, Midway now sits at 8-7-1 overall and 4-6 in the conference. They also have two regular season games remaining; Clinton at home on Wednesday and at Goldsboro Thursday.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.