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Warriors start spring with wins over rival

With the sun out, the temperature getting a little more spring-like and the ballfields mostly dry at Nansemond River, the host Warriors swept baseball and softball contests against city rival King’s Fork Tuesday afternoon.

The Lady Warriors (1-0) had freshman pitcher Sydney Glover throw six strong innings in a 6-3 victory over the Lady Bulldogs (0-1).

On the baseball diamond, NR (1-0) scored three runs in the second inning and six more in the third in a 10-0, five-inning win against the Bulldogs(0-1).

In her first varsity game, Glover struck out seven batters and she saved her two biggest strikeouts for last.

After what was a 5-1 NR lead cut down to 5-3 in the Lady Bulldog fifth inning, King’s Fork threatened again in the top of the sixth.

King’s Fork had a runner reach third with one out. Glover kept the runner there and NR’s lead safe with back-to-back strikeouts.

“That was huge, those two strikeouts with the runner in scoring position,” said Nansemond River head coach Tim Tarafas.

“Sydney showed great poise, even when (King’s Fork) scored a run in the first inning,” Tarafas said.

After KF took a 1-0 lead, the Lady Warriors answered with a bigger rally in the home half of the first.

Senior catcher Anna Cain propelled the rally with a one-out RBI double, a line drive deep down the left field line.

Loren Daubenspeck followed with a single and Hope Mounie, another freshman, roped a two-RBI single into right field to make it 3-1 NR.

Two innings later, Cain led off the NR third with a drive into the left-center field gap for a triple. Kayla Coburn brought Cain in with a double and Coburn scored on another RBI hit by Mounie, making it 5-1 NR.

The Lady Bulldogs rallied in the fifth, but it could’ve been more for KF without the play of Cain behind the plate.

After a leadoff single, a KF bunt attempt turned into a double play when Cain caught the popped-up bunt and fired to first for the second out of the inning.

Two Lady Warrior errors kept the inning going and set up a two-out Lady Bulldog rally. Singles by Niki Cuevas and Haley Johnson drove in one RBI each, but 5-3 was as close as KF got.

NR loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and Kelsey O’Brien’s sacrifice fly to center scored Coburn for an NR insurance run.

Rachel Hawks got the save, pitching a scoreless seventh for the Lady Warriors.

Miranda Whitley pitched a complete game for the Lady Bulldogs, finishing with seven strikeouts.

Offensively for NR, Mounie was 3-for-3 with two RBI. Cain and Coburn were both 2-for-3 with two runs.

NR pitchers Reid Hoffler and Tyler Brown held the Bulldogs to two hits on the baseball diamond.

Hoffler, a senior side-arming right-hander, allowed one hit in the KF first, then nothing for the next three innings.

“It was all about getting off to a quick start. We talked about before the game, we saw this as the most important game of the year. That was our mindset,” Hoffler said.

“I walked a couple more guys than I wanted, but it’s the first game, so I’ll work on getting better,” Hoffler said.

It was Hoffler’s first varsity start. His teammates gave him plenty of run support starting in the bottom of the second.

Hayden Champigny’s two-RBI double put the Warriors on the board. NR led 3-0 after two innings.

In the NR third, 11 Warriors came to the plate and six scored. Champigny and Kyle Moore sparked the inning with RBI hits. Champigny finished the day with two doubles and five RBI.