PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Cards rode the arm of Jessica Barker and the legs of Evelyn Wells to a 3-0 softball win Friday night.
Barker threw a shutout against Alleghany, while Wells stole three bases and manufactured the first two runs.
“I thought we played well defensively, and Barker didn’t pitch that badly,” said Coach Derrick Hill. However, the offense didn’t produce many hits.
“We didn’t have a very good day at the plate,” he said, “but this time of year, an ugly win is better than a loss.”
In the second inning, the Lady Trojans hit two singles and had runners at second and third. Then Barker caught a grounder, threatened the runner back to third and made the play at first. Then she got a strikeout to get out of the jam.
In the third inning, Wells was walked and took a big lead at first.
The catcher tried to pick Evelyn off, but she took off for second and made it. Then she stole third base, and with the third baseman missing the ball on the throw, she rushed home for the first run.
The Trojans threatened again in the sixth with a single into the hole on the left side, then a bloop single to center.
However, Barker got a liner to Wells at second and two popups to first baseman Kristen Cummings to get out of trouble.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Cards extended the lead.
Wells hit a flare past third base and never slowed down. As the leftfielder came in to make the play, Wells raced to second for a double.
She then stole third and came home on a wild pitch.
“We’ve told her, ‘Just get on base. We don’t care how you get there,’” said Hill. “She did a great job imposing her will on them.”
Amber Lawson followed with an infield single into the hole at short. She stole second and took third on a throwing error by the catcher.
Hill told Barker that a fly ball would get the runner home, so Barker hit a long shot to the outfield, but it fell in for an RBI double to make the score 3-0.
Barker shut down Alleghany in the seventh for the win.
“We’ve been through this enough times,” said Hill. “Almost every year we have a game where we don’t play up to our potential…. Hopefully we get that bad game out of the way in the first round.”
The Cardinals will travel to Millers Creek Tuesday to face West Wilkes, which beat North Rowan 9-2.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.