Lady Warriors sweep Lakeland

Published 7:15 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nansemond River’s softball team slugged its way to a 10-1 lead and hung on for a 10-5 win and complete a season sweep over city rival Lakeland under the lights Friday at Lakeland.

The Warriors got offense from all over their lineup, but NR’s fourth- and fifth-place hitters did the most damage. Clean-up hitter Anna Cain was 3 for 4 at the plate with a double, triple and three runs scored and Joycelin Ward followed Cain going 2 for 3 with a walk and reaching by an error. Ward totaled three runs and three RBI.

While the Warriors scored runs in five of their first six innings, Jenna Bryant held Lakeland to improve her pitching record and Nansemond River’s record to 8-4. Bryant allowed five hits and one unearned run in 5.0 innings.

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NR got going with three runs in the top of the first. All three runs were unearned and came after Lakeland pitcher Ashley Carroll had two outs and no runners on.

A double by Ward, a line drive down the left field line, put the Warriors on the board. Cain scored on a wild pitch and Rachel Henderson’s single scored Ward to make it 3-0 NR.

Cain sparked NR’s offense with her next two at-bats. With one out in the third, Cain powered a fly ball to deep center field for a triple. Cain scored and Ward, who reached base on a Lakeland error on her bunt, scored to give NR a 5-1 lead.

With NR up 6-1 going into the fifth inning, Cain shot a double into the left field corner to open the inning. Cain eventually scored on a wild pitch and Bryant added a two-RBI double in the frame, plating Ward and Henderson, to make a 9-1 cushion.

Lakeland tested that cushion in the final two innings. The Cavaliers scored two runs and still had the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh before NR ended the game with a triple play.

Henderson, at first base, snared a line drive and stepped on first for the second out. Then amidst confusion on both sides, she waited for a teammate to cover second base and threw there for the triple play.

Lakeland hosts Grassfield on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Nansemond River hosts Hickory on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors defeated Hickory, the defending state champions, 3-2 at Hickory on Mar. 25. NR is 3-0 against fellow Suffolk schools this season.