Cayley Shoemaker and Kirstan Beaver each had three hits and kept the Lady Elks crossing the plate as Elkin used a five-run sixth to escape with a 10-5 win over Starmount Tuesday at Crater Park.
Shoemaker and Beaver each scored three runs. Shoemaker started the scoring for the Lady Elks in the first, fourth, and sixth innings.
With the score tied at 5, Sarah Cudd started the Elkin sixth with a walk. Shoemaker and Beaver both followed with singles to load the bases. After Rebekah Cranford grounded into a 3-2 fielder’s choice which cut down Cudd at the plate, Bethany Turner followed with a two-run double to put Elkin up 7-5.
Reagan Parks followed with a two-run single to make it 9-5 before McKenzie Tilley knocked in the final run with a single.
Elkin assistant coach Steve Shaw said the win was the result of the work ethic that is now carrying over from practice. “We’re not done practicing until we’re all bleeding, sweating, and crying,” Shaw said.
“(Starmount) had us kind of worried there.”
In particular, Shaw said Starmount catcher was right on Shoemaker’s pitches. “She was all over Cayley all day,” Shaw said. “Got to give props to Angel.”
“Angel hit the ball hard all four times,” Starmount Coach Sarah Boles said. “When she’s on, she’s on.
“She’s solid and she’s a solid presence behind the plate.”
Couch singled, doubled, and hit the ball hard to short twice. The double drove in two runs in the first inning.
Of Turner’s big hit, Shaw said, “She made contact and kept her head down. She got a big hit at a critical time.”
Shaw also singled out Blackburn, Parks, Beaver, Cranford, and Nicole Collins for their at bats Tuesday. “We’ve been working on two-strike hits,” Shaw said.
“The defense played well,” Boles said. “There’s always room for improvement, though. We’re getting better.
“We fought back. That was a positive thing. But we definitely didn’t execute the last two or three innings.”
Specifically, Boles was referring to the bases being left loaded in the second and fifth innings. “You can’t leave kids on with the opportunity to score two or three runs,” she said. “They won. They deserved to win.”
Elkin improved to 12-5 (8-3 in the conference). Starmount fell to 4-9 (4-4).
S 200 030 0 — 5 5 0
E 120 205 x — 10 14 4
S: Olivia Greene and Angel Couch. E: Cayley Shoemaker and Bethany Turner. 2B: Couch, Rebekah Cranford (E), Nicole Collins (E), Mattie Blackburn (E). 3B: Kirstan Beaver (E).
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.