FAIRMONT — Harmony Oxendine was on a mission Saturday against East Columbus in the first round of the Robeson County Slugfest softball tournament.
The South Robeson softball team was blasted by the Lady Gators earlier this week, and the Lady Mustangs’ ace didn’t want a repeat performance.
“We’ve lost to them twice and I really wanted revenge,” said Oxendine, who pitched a complete game in South Robeson’s 6-1 win over East Columbus.
“When we play good, we can beat them.”
The sixth-seeded Lady Mustangs (9-7) used a three-run third inning to widen the margin and Oxendine did the rest to keep the Lady Gators (12-3) at bay and avenge a 15-2 loss earlier in the week.
“Harmony in the circle is a dealmaker,” South Robeson coach Donnie Carter said. “When she’s on, she can pitch with anybody and we have a chance to win. She’s also hitting the ball very well. She’s a complete, all-around player.”
Oxendine was one of three South Robeson players to log a pair of hits, joining Haeli Chavis and Cheyanne Lowery. The Lady Mustangs will look to advance to Monday’s 4 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Purnell Swett, the defending Slugfest champions.
“(On Friday), we had five girls stay after practice so we would have a chance to beat them,” Oxendine said. “We were definitely a better team offensively.”
South Robeson used a trio of RBI singles by Oxendine, Lowery and Delilah Chavis in the third inning to extend its 1-0 lead out to four, giving Oxendine some insurance. Jennifer Lambert added one more run in the fifth with an RBI bunt and Haeli Chavis stole home in the seventh inning to give South Robeson its biggest lead at 6-0.
It was the kind of performance Carter has been waiting for this season.
“It was still not perfect, but perfection is never reachable,” he said. “They’re starting to do some things that we’ve been looking for all year. We’re beginning to hit a little better and play like we’re capable of playing. It just took a little while.”
East Columbus’ only run came in the seventh after Diamond Porter tripled and scored on a fielding error. The Lady Gators finished with four errors, while the Lady Mustangs sprayed 10 hits across the diamond.
“This year, they’ve beat us twice and the last time they beat us pretty good,” Carter said. “We came in with an attitude that we had a chance to win and we played that way.”
And moving forward, Carter is hopeful the team that showed up against East Columbus, shows up for the rest of the season.
“If we do what we did (against East Columbus), we have a chance to compete and a chance to win, no matter who we play.”
Chavis gave South Robeson the lead for good with a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Lumberton rolls past St. Pauls
Behind a sensational performance from Ariel Allbrooks, the Lumberton softball team earned a 19-1 win over St. Pauls in five innings on Saturday, advancing to Monday’s semifinal against Hoke County.
Allbrooks earned the win in the pitcher’s circle and finished with a game-best five RBIs and three hits to lead the top-seeded Lady Pirates (13-4), who scored seven runs in the second inning followed by eight runs in the third.
Canady finished with three hits and a pair of RBIs for Lumberton, with Hailey Britt adding a pair of hits and RBIs.
The eighth-seeded Lady Bulldogs (5-13) finished with four errors and four hits, scoring their only run on a wild pitch in the top of the third inning.
Danielle Gray, Meagan Butler and Kenna O’Quinn finished with one hit each for St. Pauls.
Lady Bucks blast Red Springs
The Hoke County softball team used a seven-run inning to earn a 14-4 win over Red Springs in the opening round of Slugfest on Saturday, earning a berth in the semifinals against Lumberton.
Trailing 4-3 entering the fourth inning, the fourth-seeded Lady Bucks (11-8) exploded for seven runs highlighted with hits by Jessyca Cordona, Behtany Locklear, a two-run single by Alandra Jacobs, and a hit by Caitlin Crenshaw.
Ina Womack picked up the win in the circle for Hoke, with Katelyn Culbreth taking the loss for Red Springs.
Alexis Blackwell paced the Lady Bucks with four hits, including a pair of doubles as Hoke finished with 13 hits. Jacobs finished with three hits and a pair of RBIs.
Kesley Locklear and Mariah Oxendine logged two hits each for fifth-seeded Red Springs (9-9), which jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third inning after a two-run single by Chelsea Gonzalez and an RBI groundout by Sanastasia Powell.
Red Springs will face St. Pauls in a consolation game on Monday.
Lady Rams rally to top Fairmont
Behind a four-run inning, the Purnell Swett softball team earned a 6-3 comeback win over Fairmont on Saturday, advancing to Monday’s semifinal in Slugfest.
Trailing 3-2 in the fifth inning, the Lady Rams (7-11) rallied for four runs after scoring on a walk, wild pitch, sacrifice fly by Chelsea Jones and an RBI single by Hunter Bullard.
Jones picked up the win in the circle for Purnell Swett, which will play South Robeson at 4 p.m. Monday. Bullard led the Lady Rams with a pair of hits.
The Golden Tornadoes (2-11) were hampered by two errors and just three hits, but a three-run double by Mia Strickland in the fifth inning gave Fairmont a 3-2 lead before Swett rallied to win the game.
Grace McMillan was tagged with the loss in the circle for Fairmont.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.