LAKE WACCAMAW — Fairmont got a near flawless pitching performance from Gage Hardin and improved to 10-0 in conference play.
Hardin threw all five innings in a 10-0 win at East Columbus. He faced the minimum 15 batters, threw 50 pitches and allowed only one walk and one hit.
“He had a great night on the mound, that’s for sure,” Fairmont coach Sandy Thorndyke said.
Thorndyke said Hardin spotted the fastball well, mixed in the curve and had error-free defense behind him.
After Hardin walked the first batter, the Golden Tornadoes (15-1, 10-0) turned a double play. When he allowed a single, the runner got caught stealing second.
“When they hit the ball, we made the plays,” Thorndyke said.
Offensively, Fairmont found its groove with seven runs in the fourth, taking advantage of walks.
Ryan Mayers led Fairmont with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Julius Caulder went 2-for-3 and Alec Brewington and Hardin each finished 1-for-1.
In other Three Rivers Conference action, Whiteville beat Red Springs 18-1 and West Columbus beat St. Pauls 13-3.
Scotland rallies to beat Purnell Swett
LAURINBURG — The Scotland baseball team as it banged out 11 hits, including a long home run by Grant English, to beat Purnell Swett 7-2 on Friday.
The Rams went ahead 2-0 in the second but didn’t score again. Scotland answered with three runs in the bottom of second to take the lead for good.
After surrendering the two unearned runs, Scotland starter Dylan Ward settled in and threw a complete game. Ward allowed three hits and struck out six.
“We got a gutty performance from our ace,” said Scotland coach Jamie Coleman. “Dylan struggled early on, but from the third inning on, he looked like the pitcher that we know he can be. His deuce (curveball) was working well, he had trouble throwing his changeup, but he was locating his fastball. That was key.”
LAKE WACCAMAW — A lone error was the difference between win and loss for the Fairmont softball team Friday.
In the top of the seventh, Fairmont senior Christa Thorndyke hit a grounder to third base that got thrown over the head of East Columbus’ first baseman, allowing the game-winning run to score in the 5-4 win.
East Columbus answered when Fairmont (8-4, 6-4) scored. The Tornadoes led 2-0 after the second, but allowed it to get tied in the third. They went up 4-2 in the sixth, which got narrowed to 4-3 in the bottom half. A final run on each side kept the scoer close.
Mariah Lovin had a key single in the sixth that scored Thorndyke and Jill Goodyear had an RBI double that put the Tornadoes up 4-2.
Lovin led her team with a 2-for-3 night. Pitcher Katelon Floyd picked up her fifth win of the year with the complete game.
In other county softball games, Scotland beat Purnell Swett 10-2, Whiteville beat Red Springs 13-3 and West Columbus beat St. Pauls 10-0.
LUMBERTON — Lumberton junior Chloe Locklear continued her recent hot streak in Friday’s 5-2 win against Terry Sanford.
The midfielder had four goals, including three in the final 25 minutes.
“She’s just playing tremendous,” Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons said. “Her confidence level is really high. She’s just on fire.”
Locklear did most of her damage from distance. She nailed a free kick from 20 yards out and two shots from 25 yards out before finishing the game with a header goal off a corner kick by Madison Sirmans.
Lumberton’s defense allowed five shots on goal, with one of Terry Sanford’s goals coming on a penalty kick. The Pirates jumped out to a 2-1 halftime lead behind goals from Locklear and Madi Britt. Sanford scored again to tie it with 25 minutes left, which led to Locklear taking control.
Brittany Bolin had four save for the Pirates, who improve to 10-2 this season.
Justin McNickle contributed to this report.
Fairmont 5, East Columbus 4
Fairmont 020 002 1 — 5 8 4
E. Columbus 002 001 1 — 4 7 2
Floyd (5-2, W) and Goodyear. Revels (L) and Spaulding. Leading hitters — F: Lovin 2-3, 2B, RBI, Goodyear 1-3, 2B, RBI, Floyd 1-4 2B; EC: Berry 2-4, 3B, RBI, Kissam 2-4, 2B, M. Patrick 1-3, 2B. Records — Fairmont 8-4, 6-4, East Columbus 6-4, 6-3.
Fairmont 10, East Columbus 0
Fairmont 002 71 — 10
E. Columbus 000 00 — 0
WP — Hardin.
Leading hitters — F: Mayers 2-4, Brewington 1-1, Hardin 1-1, Caulder 2-3.
Records — Fairmont 15-1, 10-0.