Two first place teams will go head-to-head Friday when Lord Botetourt hosts James River in softball. The game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Daleville and is a makeup from a previously postponed game from April 5.
This is the only meeting of the season between the two Botetourt County teams and it shapes up to be a good one. Coming into the week, LB is leading the Blue Ridge with a 3-0 district record and a 6-1 mark overall, while James River is sporting an undefeated record at 8-0.
River opened Three Rivers District play at Floyd County last week and took a 13-3 win in five innings. The Knights capitalized on 12 hits, five walks and three Lady Buffalo errors to generate three big scoring innings.
In the top of the first inning, with one out, Elly Lackey singled and Austyn Moran walked before hot-hitting Kaycee Kincaid launched a three-run homer to center field on the first pitch she saw. It was Kincaid’s fourth home run of the season. Karlee Eubank followed with a slicing triple to the right field corner before eventually scoring on an error.
In the third inning, Eubank reached on an error and scored on a two-out hit by Marley Huddleston. Three consecutive walks preceded a two-run double by Kincaid before Eubank flied out to deep center field. The visitors batted around as James River scored five runs in the inning.
In the fifth inning the Knights used a walk and four hits to score their final four runs. A two RBI double by Cloey Joynes and RBI singles by Kincaid and Ripley Barry highlighted the scoring. Kincaid’s three hits and six RBIs and Joynes’ two hits led James River. Seven other Knights had one hit apiece.
River pitcher Moran needed only 61 pitches, of which 49 were strikes, in the shortened contest as she ran her pitching record to 8-0. She allowed three hits and three runs, all unearned. Moran struck out six batters and walked none and she’s pitched all eight of River’s wins.
“We are always appreciative of a win, especially on the road,” said coach Steve Austin. “We did a lot of good things, patience at the plate, adjustments at the plate, overall energy, and we threw strikes on the mound.
“We did make three errors in this game. I know that we are a better defensive team than we have shown recently so we will put in a little extra work and try to get back on track in that regard.”
The Knights were scheduled to host Carroll County in a district game Tuesday, and this evening they have a non-district game with Parry McCluer before traveling to Daleville Friday.