Veteran Kaylin White pitched a five-hitter and hit a three-run home run as White Knoll took over sole possession of second place in Region 5-4A softball with a 9-3 win over cross-town rival.
White went the distance in the circle after marathon duty over the weekend at the Wildcat Invitational Tournament, and her three-run blast to center field capped a six-run burst in the top of the fifth inning to stake the Timberwolves to a comfortable 9-1 lead.
White Knoll, which lost in the tournament championship game to Hillcrest, now stands at 7-4 overall, 4-1 in region matters behind front-running North Augusta. The T-Wolves have two more region games this week before squaring off at home against the defending region and Lower State champion Yellow Jackets on March 27. North Augusta was an 8-6 winner in the first meeting on March 8.
“We’re playing pretty well right now, but I keep telling the girls that it doesn’t make sense to play great in March and be sorry in April,” said first-year White Knoll coach David Smith. “We’re starting to play with a little more consistency. Tonight, we put the bat on the ball and Kaylin got into a groove after she struggled early with her control. She was really sore after pitching so much over the weekend.”
White Knoll produced 11 hits in all. White’s circuit shot was the highlight, but Lydia Trexler, Megan Anderson and Ashley Hudson – the top three hitters in the order – all finished with two hits. Trexler had a double off the fence and scored two runs. Anderson scored twice and had one RBI. Hudson scored a run and drove in one.
White likely will not have to handle the bulk of the work in the circle the rest of the way with junior Savannah Terrapin now cleared to start throwing again.
Lexington (6-6, 3-2) is suffering growing pains related to extreme youth and inexperience. The Wildcats have just one senior and three juniors on the roster.
“We lost nine seniors off last year’s team and we’re struggling to put it together,” said coach Russell Spires. “But considering how young we are, I’m happy with where we are and where we’re going. The biggest challenge we have right now is learning how to deal with adversity. We’ve already lost three games where we had the lead going into the last inning. It takes time for a team this young to build up confidence.”
Leadoff hitter Emily Mattone had an outstanding game against WK, reaching base four times and scoring two runs. The fleet sophomore outfield drew two walks and delivered a triple and a double in her two official at bats.
Otherwise, freshman Natalie Willis had one hit and two RBIs and junior Maddy Labrador reached base three times thanks to being hit by three White pitches.