Pitching powers Lady Rams to three-straight wins
by Matthew Gorry
BOONVILLE - The Lady Rams asserted themselves as a dangerous team with three dominating wins last week.
After topping rival Forbush 7-0 in a game that spanned two days, Starmount battled four-time defending 1A state champion East Surry Thursday night in Boonville.
The Rams jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings to seemingly take control of the game.
Courtney Groce led off the first inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Mackenzie Hutchens then reached on an error that allowed Groce to scamper home from second for the first run of the contest.
Starmount tacked on two more runs in the third on an RBI double by Rachel Wagoner to score Hutchens and a Sam Couch run-scoring single to plate Wagoner.
The Lady Cards responded and began to chip away at the deficit.
After scoring one run in the fifth, East Surry used the power of the longball to knot the game at 3-3.
Madison Jessup and Kelsey Wilson went yard for the Cardinals to complete the comeback in the top of the seventh.
But Starmount responded in a big way.
Hutchens led off of the inning with a double before Wagoner roped a single. Amber Smith loaded the bases by drawing a walk with nobody out.
Ashley Osborne then ripped a line shot to second. But the second baseman snagged the line drive and doubled-up Hutchens at third for the double-play.
With two down, slugger Courtney Barnes stepped in with a chance to win it for Starmount.
Down to her final strike, the senior cranked a three-run walk-off home run to give the Lady Rams a thrilling 6-3 victory over the Cardinals, her second three-run shot in as many days.
Smith picked up the win for Starmount with 1.1 innings worked and combined with Groce and Osborne to limit the reigning champs to a mere three hits on the night.
The Lady Rams continued their winning ways Friday night with a trip up the mountain to take on Alleghany.
Starmount’s pitching staff was even more dominant against the Trojans as Groce and Osborne combined for a no-hitter as the Rams cruised to a 10-0 five-inning victory.
Groce pitched the first three innings on the mound, while Osborne pitched the final two, as the two hurlers struck out a total of five batters and walked just one.
Offensively, the Rams scored early and often, racking up double-digit runs in just four innings of work.
Starmount led off the game with two quick runs on a Hutchens’ single and a Smith sac fly to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Syndey Caudle led off the inning with a single a moved to second on a sac bunt. After Groce walked, Wagoner brought home both with double to give the Rams a 4-0 advantage.
Starmount blew the game open in the third with a four-run frame on RBI hits by Groce and Hutchens as the Rams took control with an 8-0 lead.
Caudle and Jordan Shore put the finishing touches on the scoring with an RBI triple and single, respectively, to give Starmount the 10-0 mercy-rule triumph after five innings.
The red-hot Rams improved to 7-1 on the season after winning three games last week.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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