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Easy win for Lady Saints

Nansemond-Suffolk’s softball squad had plenty of successes last spring. The Lady Saints finished with a 13-6 record and by making the state tournament. One, or actually two, serious disappointments last season were two losses against Norfolk Academy.

Norfolk Academy and the Saints are rivals in all sports, but softball traditionally belongs completely to NSA.

Tuesday at NSA, all 10 Lady Saints who came up to the plate reached base at least once as NSA rolled past Norfolk Academy 12-2 in five innings.

“If we hit the ball, we’re going to be successful and everyone hit the ball today,” said NSA head coach Kim Aston. Aston was also quick to bring up Norfolk Academy’s sweep last season.

Kelsey Ritter’s pitching performance made it an excellent day all the way around for the Lady Saints. Ritter struck out 10 of the first 11 Lady Bulldogs she faced and took a perfect game to the top of the fifth before. Ritter wound up giving up two hits and no walks while striking out 11.

NSA took the lead in the second. Mackenzie Matthews started the inning with a single. Nicole Turner put down a good bunt allowing Matthews to take second and third before NA’s defense reacted.

Alexandria Russell wasted no time knocking an RBI single into right field.

With Ritter’s fastball in cruise control, she fanned the side in the NA third. NSA broke the game open in the home half of the third.

Turner got to drive in runners this time through the order. With the bases loaded and one out, she lined a hit into right-center field for two RBI.

NSA made it 4-0 on a wild pitch and 6-0 on Macy Mears’ two-out, two-RBI single.

Even with a six-run lead and a dominating pitcher, Aston wanted to make sure her team was motivated to finish the game.

“I told them in the fourth inning, last year we were up 5-1 and they beat us. We didn’t want to let up at all,” Aston said.

Norfolk Academy cut NSA’s lead to 6-2 before NSA rallied in the bottom of the fifth to end the game early.

Brooke Starling went 2-for-2 in the inning with a double and an RBI single for the last run of the game.

Matthews was 3-for-4 at the plate. Mears, Starling, Ritter, Allie Thorndike and Ugi Metzger had two hits each.

Nansemond-Suffolk (3-2, 2-0) continues with another Tidewater Conference game Thursday at Cape Henry.