Wagoner powers Lady Rams past East Wilkes
by Matthew Gorry
BOONVILLE - Starmount picked up its best win of the season Monday night, stunning 1A power East Wilkes in Boonville.
The Lady Rams rode a three-run homer and four RBIs by senior Rachel Wagoner to a thrilling 4-3 victory over all-state ace Kennedy Lester and the Cardinals.
Starmount jumped all over Lester in the first inning to grab an early advantage. After Mackenzie Hutchens and Sydney Caudle singled, Wagoner cranked a three-run shot to give the Rams a quick 3-0 edge.
East Wilkes responded in the second and third on a RBI single by Brandi Parks and a run-scoring double by Lester to cut the deficit down to 3-2.
Lester and Olivia Greene settled down in the circle and battled.
Greene limited the Cardinals to eight hits on the afternoon, including just five over the final five innings. After the three-run first inning, Lester allowed just three hits the rest of the game.
But Starmount made those three hits count. In the fifth, Wagoner came through again to add a crucial insurance run.
Wagoner recorded her fourth RBI of the game on a run-scoring single that scored Caudle to give the Rams a 4-2 lead late.
East Wilkes made a charge in the seventh, looking for the game-tying runs.
Taylor Tharpe and Ashley Wagoner reached on back-to-back singles before Adrian Pardue drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Payton Lyons then drew a walk to trim the deficit down to one at 4-3.
But Greene buckled down and induced a game-ending groundout to short to give Starmount a big 4-3 triumph.
Greene picked up the ‘W’ after out-dueling Lester, who dazzled with 12 strikeouts on the night.
Starmount improved to 2-5 on the season with the win, while handing East its second conference loss of the season (4-2).
Both squads return to the field Friday night as the Rams travel to Hays to battle North Wilkes with the Cardinals heading to Alleghany.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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