For three innings, the Richmond Hill softball team quickly improved against South Effingham, but then took off in the fourth and ended up in the short term with a deceptive 11-2 score on Thursday night. at Wildcats Field.
With Katie Rearley and the Mustangs announced as sophomore, Bailey Kendziorski locked in a pitching duel, the Lady Cats were the first to blink.
Despite having only released two balls from the infield, including a flying ball in the middle for the third out, South Effingham scored six runs on five hits and three Richmond Hill errors while taking advantage of the Lady’s mental mistakes. Cats.
“The girls did a great job focusing on the mental side of the game,” said coach Chris Jenkins. “I haven’t seen them make some of the mistakes we made tonight.
“It was disappointing. South Effingham is good but I’ll try my luck with them. In Game 1 (Mustangs win 4-1) it was a 1-1 game in the fifth inning and they got three points. .
On Thursday night, the Mustangs turned a close game into a break as they scored five runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a home run from Chloe Turner.
Richmond Hill scored twice in the sixth, which Jenkins found encouraging.
“I thought it showed their character,” Jenkins said of his team. “If you hadn’t looked at the scoreboard you would have thought it was a 1-0 game or equal the way they played.
“Our goal is improving every day and be ready when the regional tournament takes place the first week of October.”
The Lady Cats had nine hits against Kendziorski who won 20 games last year in freshman and is considered one of the state’s top pitching prospects, regardless of his class.
Daisy Avery had a perfect dinner party for Richmond Hill as a 3-for-3 and Kayla Ragins had a pair of singles. Rei Voight made a single to lead both runs for the Lady Cats in sixth place.
Richmond Hill missed a golden opportunity to take control of the game in the first inning when Lucy Tuttle started with a double and Avery shot a single.
Avery then stole second place, but Kendziorski tilted his neck and got the next three hitters. A big hit came when Avery Fisher hit a hard drive in the left center that appeared to be heading towards the alley only for Turner to make an ongoing take to keep Tuttle in third place.
“It was huge,” Jenkins said. “If we score there it changes a lot of the things they want to do.”
Despite the loss, the Lady Cats (6-5, 4-4) find themselves in second place in the 2-6A region regular season race. South Effingham is undefeated at 6-0 and 12-3 on aggregate.
Glynn Academy, which Richmond Hill beat 3-1 last week, is 3-3 in the region, 6-5 overall, followed by Effingham County (5-5, 2-3).
Richmond Hill has four region games remaining with three of them on the road. After a home game with Statesboro at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Lady Cats head to Bradwell Institute, Effingham and Glynn before starting the regional tournament.