There were times when the North Surry softball team’s offense looked unstoppable in Wednesday’s game with Elkin, but the Lady Hounds couldn’t find enough clutch hits in the end.
North Surry (8-12) stranded nine runners on base as the Lady Elks (11-5) pulled out a 10-8 victory. The Greyhounds recorded seven runs in the first three innings, but could only score once more over the final four frames.
“We couldn’t string together hits when we needed to,” North Surry coach Nathan Bowman said. “It’s like I told the girls, we’re making mistakes that hurt ourselves when we leave runners on like that.”
North Surry’s best chance to turn the tide came in the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Hounds entered the inning facing a 9-7 deficit, but they found some life with three straight hits to start things off. Kaitlyn Sullivan doubled, followed by back-to-back singles from Whitney Hall and Emma Martin as North Surry cut Elkin’s lead to 9-8 and had runners on second and third with no outs.
However, the Hounds couldn’t scratch across another run in the inning. Drew Beamer did reach with an infield single, but Elkin pitcher Aspen Shaw induced three groundouts to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead. The Lady Elks got an insurance run in the seventh, and Shaw held on for the victory.
Shaw came on in relief of Casey Matthews in the bottom of the third and only surrendered one run in her five innings of work. It was the second time Shaw shut down North Surry this season, pitching a complete game during the Elks’ 3-1 victory back in early March.
“(Shaw) moves the ball around really well,” Bowman said. “She pitched great against us earlier in the season, and tonight she came in and moved the ball from side to side and was good again.”
The Lady Hound offense was a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of Wednesday’s contest. Elkin took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but North Surry rebounded immediately for three runs in the bottom of the inning. A two-run homer from Drew Beamer capped off the inning.
North Surry’s best inning of the night came in the bottom of the third. The Lady Hounds scored four runs on five hits to regain the lead at 7-4. The first four batters of the inning all came across to score, and a three-run homer from Makara Woodbury was the exclamation point.
“We are hitting the ball well. To score eight runs, we’re obviously doing something right. We just have to find a way to get some of those hits later on in the game,” Bowman said.
All of that offensive noise came off Elkin’s starting pitcher, and Woodbury’s home run was the last straw. Shaw came on in relief with no outs in the inning, and despite giving up a leadoff single, Shaw settled down to finish the inning with no further damage.
Still, there were a couple of noteworthy nights from the Greyhound batters. Sullivan went 4-5 with two runs scored, and Beamer was 3-4 with two runs and three driven in.
North Surry will look to bounce back in a huge rivalry game on Friday night in Dobson against Surry Central.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16