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Three straight for Lady Bulldogs

PORTSMOUTH – King’s Fork’s softball team had been victorious three times this season, including in the last two Southeastern District games, wins over Oscar Smith and Indian River.

It wasn’t until KF’s 8-1 win at Churchland Wednesday though that head coach Richard Froemel was pleased all the way around with his team’s play.

Miranda Whitley fired a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts to keep Churchland’s offense quiet. For KF’s offense, there was plenty of it, led by a double and an inside-the-park home run from Haley Johnson and a double and a triple by Alaysha Mikell.

“That was probably the best softball we’ve played this year and it couldn’t come at a better time,” Froemel said. Froemel already had his attention set on facing defending state champion Great Bridge on Friday at KF.

The Lady Bulldogs took care of every facet of the game Wednesday, starting with getting Whitley a lead early on.

With two outs in the top of the first, Niki Cuevas singled sharply into center field and Johnson followed with a fly ball over the right fielder’s head for an RBI double.

In the KF second, Mikell roped a liner down the left field line for a stand-up triple. Stephanie Livingston brought Mikell in with a sacrifice ground out.

As Whitley’s pitching continued, two runs would’ve been enough, but the Lady Bulldogs broke the game open with a two-out rally in the third.

With Niki Cuevas on first and two outs, Johnson belted another drive, this one deeper, to right. As the ball went to Churchland’s deep outfield fence, Johnson raced all the way around and scored the inside-the-park homer without a play at the plate.

KF kept going in the frame with Taylor Davis walking and Monica Logwood singling, bringing up Mikell. Mikell drove her second big hit of the day, a two-RBI double to make it 6-0 KF.

Whitley (3-3) was perfect through the first 11 Churchland hitters and finished the day allowing only three base runners, two hits and one walk.

Johnson’s home run was her first of the season; she finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs. Mikell was 2-for-3 and Cuevas was 2-for-4.

“When you get by in some games where you struggle, and then there’s a game where everything goes your way, it builds a lot of confidence for a team,” Froemel said. “Now we’ve got to keep it going for Friday.”

King’s Fork (4-4, 3-3) hosts Great Bridge at 5:30 p.m. Friday.