West Stokes softball team continued their hot start with an impressive 2-1 win over county rival North Stokes on Friday in King. The Lady Wildcats last win against the Vikings came in April of 2012.
“It was a great hard fought battle and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Wildcat coach Jordan Stevens. “We had some errors early on and the team didn’t let it affect them. Last year we would have crumbled. The girls trust each other and are playing well with one another right now.”
Sophomore Carley Gravely led the game with a double to left centerfield. She moved to third on a passed ball with no one out, but starting pitcher Allison Mabe struck out three of the next four batters for the Wildcats and left the contest scoreless after a half inning played.
West also threatened in the first when leadoff hitter Hannah Wood reached base on a hit batter and then stole second. Mackenzie Parker walked with one out, but Viking pitcher Sierra Hubbard bore down and struck out the next two batters.
Both pitchers matched each other with dominate performances from the mound until the fifth inning when the Vikings broke through with an unearned run. Gravely reached base on a walk after the Wildcats third baseman dropped a foul ball that would have ended the inning. She moved to second on Reid Hawkins single and then scored on Autumn Martin’s base hit to left field. Mabe struck out the next batter to end the inning 1-0.
The Wildcats responded in the bottom half when sophomore Faye Lawson popped a mammoth homerun to right center field with two outs and knotted the score 1-1.
“We left that pitch high and down the middle of the plate,” said Viking coach Jeff Frye. “I thought we had some missed opportunities during the game that we didn’t capitalize on. We have to be able to hit the ball better and make fewer mistakes on the field to win games like this.”
North put another runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth, but a fly ball and strikeout ended the Vikings threat.
West Stokes broke through with the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Mabe started the stanza off with a base hit. She moved to second on a single by freshman Torrie Tucker with two outs. An infield single by senior Abigail Gordon and an errant throw allowed pinch runner Kayln Womack to score from second base for the go-ahead run.
The seventh inning proved to be uneventful behind the strong pitching by Mabe.
“I thought Allison (Mabe) pitched a heck of a game,” Stevens said. “She was able to hit her spots and located the ball tonight. I think we struggled with our timing early on against them, but got key hits when we needed them. I thought Faye (Lawson) and Torrie (Tucker) hit the ball really well tonight.”
Lawson and Tucker led the Wildcats with two hits each. Lawson added a single, homerun, RBI, and run scored, while Tucker singled twice. Mabe had 10 strikeouts, two walks, and kept her ERA at 0.00 for the season with the one unearned run given up. Gravely paced the Vikings with a double and a run scored and Martin added a hit and a RBI. Hubbard finished with 11 strikeouts, one walk, allowed two runs, and gave up seven hits.
The Wildcats improved to 7-0 after breaking the Vikings eight game win streak. North Stokes bounced back with a 7-1 victory over Morehead High School on Saturday to improve to 4-1. West Stokes will travel to East Surry (5-1) on Wednesday, while the Vikings will host Surry Central (1-3) on Monday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.