Despite just two hits and leaving 10 runners on base, Elkin defeated Starmount, 10-3, Monday to advance to the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference semifinals Wednesday at Ashe County.
Cayley Shoemaker scattered 10 hits, allowing just two earned runs, walking three, and striking out eight for Elkin.
“I have to say I’m pretty proud of her as far as leaving runners stranded,” Elkin assistant coach Steve Shaw said. “She did well.”
Kenzie Harris allowed just two hits, but walked 16 and hit a batter for Starmount. “She’s a freshman,” Starmount Coach Sarah Boles said. “I think the nerves got the most of her early on. Then she started getting into a groove.”
Only two Elkin runs were driven in with hits. Rebekah Cranford doubled in the second to put Elkin up 6-1 and Bethany Turner’s infield single in the fifth knocked in Elkin’s final run.
“I think the girls went up there just looking for a walk,” Shaw said. “I’m not really sure what was going on.”
Cranford, who also drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the fifth, and Victoria Kiger, who walked twice with the bases loaded, each were credited with two RBI for the Elks.
Alli Jones, Angel Couch, and Christy Reavis all had two hits for Starmount. Jones and Ashley Johnson each had an RBI single to score runs for the Rams.
“We had some good hits,” Boles said. “But we left some runners on base and we made some base-running mistakes.
“Nothing came together for us tonight.”
The Rams left eight runners on base and had two runners cut down at the plate. One of those was the end of a 5-3-2 double play started by Kaitlyn Faw. “I’m proud of Kaitlyn Faw at third base,” Shaw said. “We’ve been working on that play hard.”
Faw took a sharp ground ball off the bat of Johnson and looked Couch back to third before firing to Cranford at first. Cranford then delivered a strike to Bethany Turner who tagged out Couch at the plate.
Elkin is now 14-7. Starmount fell to 4-16.
S 010 000 2 — 3 10 1
E 520 120 x — 10 2 2
S: Kenzie Harris and Angel Couch. E: Cayley Shoemaker and Bethany Turner. 2B: Rebekah Cranford (E).
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.