RONDA — Brandi Parks limited Elkin to two hits and Adrian Pardue provided insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings with a homer and a double as host East Wilkes beat Elkin for the second time this season — this time 4-1 on Senior Night.
Parks and Elkin ace Cayley Shoemaker both took shutouts into the third inning before the Cardinals were able to get it going. Ali Sparks started the rally with a walk and moved to second on a bunt by Ashley Wagoner. After Pardue grounded out, Kennedy Lester walked. With two out and two strikes, Moe Burchette delivered a single to score Sparks. Lester would then score on a wild pitch.
Pardue, one of five East Wilkes seniors honored before the game, smacked her homer to right center to lead off the fifth. Her double followed an infield single by Taylor Tharpe to score the final run in the sixth. Pardue finished her night with three hits.
Elkin plated their run in the sixth when Shoemaker singled with one out, scoring on Kirstan Beaver’s double.
Nicole Collins hit the hardest ball off of Parks to lead off the Elkin fifth. Molly McCollum, playing left field, ranged to her left and made a nice over the shoulder catch near the fence. At the time, it preserved Parks’ no-hit bid.
Of Parks, East Wilkes Coach Bradley Hayes said, “She did well. Her bat wasn’t working tonight, but she did her job in the circle.”
Hayes said his team was “seeing the ball really well” Thursday night. “Elkin’s a good ball team,” Hayes added. “They’re a very scrappy team. Cayley did an excellent job pitching.”
“Got to give props to Brandi,” Elkin assistant coach Steve Shaw said. “They were all over Cayley.”
Shaw said the two games with East Wilkes this season are an indicator of just how far Elkin has come in softball. “Four years ago, East Wilkes was killing us like 20-0,” he said. “It just shows how much heart we have and what (Coach) Billy Palmer has brought.”
East Wilkes defeated Elkin, 2-1, on a play at the plate April 4.
E 000 001 0 — 1 2 1
EW 002 011 x — 4 9 0
E: Cayley Shoemaker and Bethany Turner. EW: Brandi Parks and Caitlin Macemore. 2B: Kirstan Beaver (E), Adrian Pardue (EW). HR: Pardue.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or o Twitter @elkinareasports.