South Johnston opened softball season Wednesday with an 8-1 win at Harnett Central.
“I told the girls we’re going to compete in every game if we come ready to play every single day,” said South Johnston coach Amanda Smith. “One thing we’ve done very well the last couple of days is a lot of competitive things, like forcing ourselves to get out of clutch situations. The main thing I’m stressing this year is just have fun and enjoy playing with each other. Today we brought a lot of energy and a lot of grit. I saw things that last year I wouldn’t have seen. I’m excited for that.”
“We didn’t come out hitting the ball,” said Harnett Central coach Lauren Taylor. “We made a couple of errors defensively, which is going to happen, but we were never able to stop the bleeding. We’ve got to come out and hit. We have some, I think, really good hitters, but we’ve got to have quality at-bats, put runners on base and be able to score so that there’s not so much pressure on defense and the pitchers.”
Junior Carmen Keene was the winning pitcher for the visiting Trojans (1-0). In five and two-thirds innings, she gave up one earned run on five hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. Savannah Lockamy pitched one and one-third innings, giving up no runs on two hits and one walk, with one strikeout.
Courtney Garris had two hits, including a double, and two runs scored and Kandis Adams had a double, three RBIs and a run scored to lead South at the plate.
Katie Mitchell had one hit, one RBI and one run scored. Keene, Kyndall Woodard and Kelly Dorman each had one hit and one run scored. Lockamy, Logan Blackmon and Emma Jernigan had one hit apiece. Koler Ellis scored once.
“I think, offensively, the girls have gone to work,” Smith said. “We’ve allowed our batters to get in those situations where they have to do something. One thing I’m stressing is, ‘You get three chances, make all three aggressive and you can’t go wrong, because things are going to happen.'”
Alexis Carroll had two hits, including a double, and a run scored and Tanner Williford and Fallon Wimberly had two hits apiece to lead the homestanding Trojans (0-1).
Lyndsey Brewer had a double. Ansley Lee had one hit. Kolby Medlin had one RBI.
South jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Woodard and Mitchell each drew a walk to lead off the game and both scored on Adams’ double.
South added to the lead by sending 10 batters to the plate in the third inning, scoring five runs on five hits and two errors.
South plated one more in the fifth inning when Garris singled and later scored on a ground ball from Mitchell.
Central scored its lone run in the bottom of the fifth when Caroll led off with a double and later scored on a ground ball from Medlin.
Harnett Central is at home against Fuquay-Varina and South Johnston travels to rival Triton in games on Friday.