Lady Cardinals take victory over North Surry

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com

RONDA — On a chilly night in Ronda, the East Wilkes Lady Cardinals softball team put it all on the line in a game against North Surry. The game went eight innings, and saw Lauren Rakes step up to the plate and hit a three-run home run to give East Wilkes a 10-7 win.

North Surry put one on the board in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Cardinals came back in the bottom of the inning. Lyric Ryan started off the Cardinals at-bat with a walk, which was followed up by a single by Jenna Bullard. With two runners on base, Rakes stepped up to the plate for the first time and made her mark on the game. On the first pitch, Rakes hammered the ball into center field and brought Ryan and Bullard around the bases. While heading to third, Rakes was thrown out, but the Cardinals had a 2-1 lead over North Surry.

It took until the third inning for either team to score again, as the defense picked up on the field. North Surry was able to tie the game with a home run over the right field fence. With the score 2-2, the Cardinals were coming back to the top of their lineup in the bottom of the third inning. Rakes once again got the Cardinals out of a jam, as she hit a home run over the left field fence to give East Wilkes a one-run lead.

Things continued to go East Wilkes’ way in the bottom of the fourth inning, as another run crossed the plate. With the bases loaded, Ryan singled on a line drive to left field, which brought Megan Losito in to score a run. East Wilkes had a 4-2 lead over North Surry in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The tide turned towards North Surry in the fifth inning, as the Greyhounds brought five runs in off of three hits. North Surry was able to put the brakes on East Wilkes’ scoring run, as the Greyhounds took a 7-4 lead. As the game continued, East Wilkes kept pulling itself out of the hole little by little.

Rakes was brought across the plate in the bottom of the fifth with a hit by Losito for a 7-5 score. In the bottom of the sixth, Rakes once again showed off her power at the plate as she hit a triple to right field. The triple brought Ryan and Bullard in for the Cardinals, and the game was tied 7-7 heading into the seventh inning.

Both teams tried to battle in the seventh, but neither team was able to bring in a run. With temperatures dropping and the wind picking up, East Wilkes was determined to end the night with the win. In the bottom of the eighth inning, two runners were on base for the Cardinals with no outs. Rakes stepped up to the plate, and made her final mark on the game. Rakes was able to hit the meat of the ball to send it over the center field fence into the parking lot.

With the home run, three runs were brought in for the Cardinals, and the game ended with the walk-off home run for a 10-7 final score.

With the win, the Cardinals sit at 2-0 overall.

Rakes hits walk-off home run in eighth inning

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com