Lady Warriors go 3-0 in S.C.

Published 9:25 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

The Nansemond River High School softball team used spring break to add a few more wins to its record while still enjoying the leisure opportunities present in and around Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Nansemond River High School senior third baseman Maddie McGrath and senior shortstop KateLynn Hodgkiss, in background, were key to the Lady Warriors going 3-0 in South Carolina over spring break.

Nansemond River High School senior third baseman Maddie McGrath and senior shortstop KateLynn Hodgkiss, in background, were key to the Lady Warriors going 3-0 in South Carolina over spring break.

The Lady Warriors went 3-0 in their pool in the Grand Strand Softball Classic, notching two one-sided wins and a highly competitive extra-innings victory as it played games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“They played well,” Nansemond River coach Gabe Rogers said. “They made the plays and they made the hits when they needed to.”

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On Monday, the Lady Warriors achieved a 6-0 win over South Lenoir High School out of Deep Run, N.C.

“It was just kind of a well-played game,” Rogers said. “Nothing spectacular, just good defense.”

Nansemond River senior Lauren Maddrey started out in the circle, but she struggled a bit at the beginning, so Rogers brought in junior Madison Rhoads.

“Rhoads came in and threw really well,” Rogers said.

Then he brought Maddrey back for the last inning to successfully close out the game.

Senior Calah Savage was a standout for the Lady Warriors on offense, hitting a two-run home run in the third inning.

Nansemond River defeated Kenston Forest School out of Blackstone 12-1 on Tuesday.

Similar to the Lady Warriors’ game on Monday, “we started off really slow,” Rogers said.

But Maddrey did not, in the circle, throwing five strikeouts and allowing no hits in the first three innings.

As planned, freshman Misty Even pitched the remainder of the game, though it was shorter than anticipated due to the mercy rule. In two innings, Even threw two strikeouts and gave up two hits.

“She’s going to be a bright spot for the future for us,” Rogers said.

The Lady Warriors scored one run in the first inning and none in the second before going on a roll, offensively. They registered four runs in the third, three runs in the fourth and four runs in the fifth.

Nansemond River senior KateLynn Hodgkiss hit an inside-the-park home run and finished with two runs batted in and three runs scored.

Savage hit another two-run home run and ended up with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Lady Warriors junior Kelly Lafferty was 3-for-3 with two singles and a double. She had two RBIs and three runs scored. Senior Maddie McGrath was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two runs scored.

On Wednesday, Nansemond River went the distance and then some against Honaker High School.

“They were 2-0 in the pool, we were 2-0 in the pool,” Rogers said.

In the first inning, Hodgkiss bunted, the third baseman misplayed it and Hodgkiss got to third. Then, junior Katelyn Biando squeezed Hodgkiss in to make the score 1-0.

That score stood until the third inning, when the Lady Tigers got a two-run homer to take a 2-1 lead.

Nansemond River responded in the sixth inning. Biando started off with a double, then Savage and Lafferty followed with back-to-back singles. Biando and Savage scored to make it 3-2, but Honaker re-took the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

With her team down 4-3, “Lauren Davis leads off the top of the seventh with a home run,” Rogers said. “So that ties the game up.”

Maddrey, who struggled again in the circle at the beginning of the game, returned in the seventh and threw two strikeouts to help send the game to extra innings.

The International Tie Breaker rule went into effect at that point to help bring the game to a speedier conclusion. Each team began the eighth with a runner on second base, and batters started with a 2-1 count.

Nansemond River did not manage to score, giving the Lady Tigers a golden opportunity.

“We knew all they needed to do was score a run, and defensively, we held them,” Rogers said, with Maddrey remaining in the circle.

In the ninth, the teams were automatically given runners on second and third with no outs and a 2-1 count.

Hodgkiss hit a two-run double down the left field line, scoring two runners, and appeared, to Rogers, to have scored herself, but was ruled out at home, which ended the inning.

At shortstop, Hodgkiss was instrumental in helping the Lady Warriors get three final outs in the bottom of the ninth while holding Honaker scoreless to win 6-4.

Maddrey pitched 3.2 innings of the game, and Rhoads pitched 5.1, throwing six strikeouts.

Nansemond River (7-1) hosts Western Branch High School on Tuesday.