Bethany Turner’s two-run single in the first and Rebekah Cranford’s RBI-single in the fifth propelled Elkin to a 4-2 first-round 1A West win over South Stanly Tuesday evening at Crater Park.
Both big hits came with two strikes. Turner’s hit came with two strikes and two outs.
Elkin went to work early as Kirstan Beaver singled with one out in the first. Beaver was erased on a fielder’s choice, but Baley Wood and Reagan Parks followed with walks before Turner’s sharp single up the middle.
“She’s struggled all year,” Elkin Coach Steve Shaw said. “But the last couple of times when we’ve needed it, she had a timely hit.”
Cayley Shoemaker started the two-run Elkin fifth with a single. Shoemaker moved to second on an error and to third on a wild pitch. She scored on Cranford’s single. Cranford would then score on an error to put the Elks up 4-1.
“Rebekah did exactly what she needed to do,” Shaw said. “She does what we ask her to do. She’s the one I want to see in a two-strike position.”
Beaver was the only Elk with two hits.
Shoemaker went the distance for Elkin, allowing five hits, striking out seven, and walking four. “It wasn’t her strongest performance,” Shaw said. “But she still got the job done.”
Elkin, now 15-8, moves on to the second round. The Rowdy Rebel Bulls head back to their pasture with a final mark of 12-13.
This marks the second straight year the Elks have advanced to the second round. “We’re going to have to hit the ball better,” Shaw said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”
SS 010 000 1 — 2 5 2
E 200 020 x — 4 5 1
SS: Courtney Smith, Sarah Bennett (6) and Brianna Lisk. E: Cayley Shoemaker and Bethany Turner. 2B: Lisk.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.