The Wolfpack’s Nos. 1-5 batters accounted for 14 hits and all nine runs in a 9-6 Mountain 7 District softball win over Wise Central at Bill Dotson Sr. Field.
Ridgeview (5-2, 2-0) kept pace with John Battle and Union atop the district’s standings.
Ridgeview produced its own version of Murderer’s Row, with its first five batters finishing with at least two hits apiece.
Cleanup hitter Carissa Mullins went 4-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs. Camdyn Sykes, batting behind Mullins, finished 4-for-4, including a two-run home run in the fifth, and three RBIs. Leadoff hitter and winning pitcher Nikole Counts finished 2-for-4, Hunter Grant was 2-for-3 and L.J. Swiney finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Counts, Grant, Swiney and Sykes scored two runs apiece. Mullins crossed home for the Wolfpack’s ninth run.
Central (3-2, 1-2) countered with 3-for-4 night from Brittany Mullins, who counted a solo home run among her hits. Hannah Carter finished 2-for-5 and Bayleigh Allison finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Lady Warriors’ offensive showing was good, but coach Justin Sturgill said his team must improve its pitching and that will come with experience.
Allison, a freshman, suffered the loss after throwing the first four innings. Fellow freshman Jill Sturgill worked the final three innings.
“Getting six runs off Nikole, one of the best pitchers in the district, if you would have told me that before the game, I probably would have taken it,” Sturgill noted. “We’re throwing two freshman pitchers and they’ve got to figure some things out. Too many walks, too many pitches over the center of the plate.
“Our defense has to be extra good for our pitchers because they’re working through some things.”
WORKING FOR IT
The Wolfpack seemed to be cruising to the road win after scoring three runs in the third and five in the fourth for an 8-1 lead. Mullins’ shot in the bottom of the fifth cut that lead to 8-2, but the Wolfpack tacked on another run in the top of the sixth.
But Central kept battling and pushed across two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to increase the pressure.
“We’ve done this twice now. We got a lead and we just kind of relaxed a little bit,” said Ridgeview coach Kent Grant. “We made some real stupid mistakes when we could have increased our lead. We’ve got to clean that stuff up.
“When we get a lead, we can’t just relax. We’ve got to keep the hammer down.
“It was a good win. We did what we needed to early and then we just hung on down the stretch,” Grant said. “I’m thrilled to death to get a Mountain 7 win. Anytime you can get one we’re thrilled to death to get it.”
Ridgeview has the rest of this week off before facing Gate City on Monday to start a week that includes three district contests.
Central is back in action Thursday at Union.