Austyn Moran pitched a four hitter with nine strikeouts and only two walks to lead James River to an 8-1 road win over Floyd County last Friday evening. It was the fifth win in a row for the Knights as they improved to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in the Three Rivers District.
Moran, who threw 99 pitches in the game, needed only 26 pitches to retire the first nine batters in order with five strikeouts. She did have to work out of trouble in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings.
The Knights lashed out 11 hits, led by Jenna Pugh with three. Lacey Lucado and Karlee Eubank had two each and Elly Lackey, Ainsley Simmons, Lauren Griffin and Persephone Woods all had one hit.
River scored one run in the second inning when Lucado, who had singled to lead off the inning, scored on a Lexi McCullough sacrifice fly to right field. In the third inning, Eubank singled to left and stole second base before Pugh singled to center, sending her home. Pugh also stole second base before scoring on Lucado’s second single of the contest. The Knights got their fourth run in the fourth inning when Eubank singled again and scored when Pugh’s second single of the day got by the Lady Buffalo center fielder.
In the fifth inning the visitors sent eight hitters to the plate to put the game away. After Lucado and McCullough walked and moved up on a wild pitch, Kaycee Kincaid had an RBI groundout. After Eubank walked, Griffin had an RBI single to center and Pugh followed with a two-run triple down the third base line.
“I thought we played great,” said River coach Steve Austin. “Floyd had just beaten Glenvar on the road Wednesday, and they had momentum and a lot to play for. We just executed well and kept our composure when they made us uncomfortable.”
The Knights are now off until Monday, May 31, when they travel to Hillsville to meet Carroll County.
“We have a week off before our next game at Carroll County so we want to make the best use of our practice time and to also try maintain our momentum,” said Austin. “A lot of our success lately can be attributed to everyone contributing. We are putting the ball in play, making lots of productive outs, and just playing hard-nosed softball.”