PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry ran into a tough pitcher from East Montgomery, and the Lady Cardinals were dealt a first-round exit from the 1A West softball playoffs on Wednesday night.
Meghan Johnson tossed a complete game one-hitter for the Lady Eagles, who won 12-0 in six innings at Palmer Field. Johnson walked one and struck out three.
East Surry finished the season 17-8.
The Lady Eagles scored four runs in the first inning, tacked on four more in the fourth, and another four runs in the sixth.
“For us to beat good teams like East Montgomery and North Stokes we have to play really well,” coach Randy Marion of East Surry said. “When we don’t have everything going, that’s what can happen.”
All nine hitters in the Lady Eagles’ lineup appeared in the first inning.
Carmen Moore and Payton Harrell drew leadoff walks from East starter Emily Cummings, then Samantha Stewart singled to load the bases. Moore scored on a passed ball, and Harrell scored when a pickoff throw to third wound up in the outfield.
Monica Kellis drove in another run with a single down the right field line for a 3-0 lead. Kellis moved to second on a passed ball and Ashley Greene walked before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Johnson drove in the fourth run of the game with a bunt single that drifted just over the pitcher’s circle.
“I feel good about our team,” East Montgomery coach Ted Harmon said. “It was a team effort. Our pitcher was on. The defense played well. I thought our bats helped out.”
Johnson issued a two-out walk to Amber Lawson in the bottom of the first. Then Cummings recorded the only hit of the night for the Cards, but Lawson was tagged out on a close play at third base.
East Montgomery added to its lead in the fourth. Moore had an RBI single, and Stewart reached on an error, resulting in two more runs scored for the Eagles. Kellis drove in another run for an 8-0 lead.
East Montgomery (18-6) finished with 11 hits and capitalized on five errors from the Cardinals. The Eagles finished tied for second in a tough conference that includes North Moore and West Montgomery.
The Eagles advance to play the winner of North Stanly-South Davidson in Round 2.
“We thought it would be an even game,” Harmon said. “I’m sure they thought it would be even.”
The Lady Cardinals have certainly proven they can play with solid teams — falling 3-2 in the conference tournament title game to North Stokes last week.
It just wasn’t their day on Wednesday. Cummings hung tough for the Cards — pitching six innings, the last four after taking a shot when Kellis’ sharp single deflected off her foot.
Marion said his team has grown up a lot this season and that the seniors (Amber Lawson, Sarah Moore and Lauren Sechrist) will be missed.
“We gave them some easy outs,” Marion said. “We should have competed a lot better than we did. You always hate it for the seniors because they’ll always remember the last one.”