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RICHLANDS — The Beddingfield High varsity softball team brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the seventh inning, but the Lady Bruins were unable to overcome a pair of early runs as host Richlands ended Beddingfield’s season with a 2-1 victory in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs Thursday night.
Beddingfield, the No. 24 seed out of the Eastern Plains Conference, had its season ended with a 13-7 record after knocking off Mid-State Conference champion Yanceyville Bartlett Yancey in the opening round. Richlands, seeded No. 8 from the split 1-A/2-A Coastal 8 Conference, moved to 17-7.
“We told the girls yesterday we thought it was a winnable game,” Beddingfield assistant coach Mitch Hayes said. “When you get to the second round, everybody knows how to play the game of softball. Those teams aren’t going to lay down and let you win. We had to beat them, and didn’t get the timely hit.”
Richlands tacked on a run in the first on a Mia Staggs groundout that plated Kiki Kornegay. In the second, the lead became 2-0 after Alyssa Kellum laced a two-out single and touched home on a Lady Bruins error.
It stayed there until the sixth, when Beddingfield, with Hayes directing matters in the third-base coaching box, sliced the deficit in half on junior Anna Gardner’s two-out double.
Down to its final three outs, Beddingfield put the tying run aboard in the seventh on a single by freshman Emilie Moss. But winning Richlands pitcher Hailey Futrell retired the next three batters in order, including sophomore Hannah Sangster on a running snag at first base to end it.
Futrell limited Beddingfield to just four hits and struck out eight without a walk. Karissa Hayes, Beddingfield’s lone senior, tripled in the sixth and touched home on Gardner’s double.
Sophomore Neleh Bottoms allowed just four hits and struck out three without a walk. Only one of her two runs were earned.
Gardner was the only Lady Bruin with more than one hit, going 2 for 3 with her RBI double.
“We had been playing good softball,” Hayes lamented.”I wish we had a couple of more weeks. I think we could have improved even more.
Score by innings:
Beddingfield 000 001 0 — 1
Richlands 110 000 0 — 2
WP-Hailey Futrell 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO; LP-Neleh Bottoms 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
LEADING HITTERS — Beddingfield: Karissa Hayes 1-3, 3B, Emilie Moss 1-3, Anna Gardner 2-3, 2B, RBI; Richlands: Kiki Kornegay 1-3, Madison Shoulders 1-3, Alyssa Kellum 1-2, Mia Stagg 1-3, RBI.