LUMBERTON — St. Pauls scored six runs in the first inning and never surrendered its lead in an 8-4 win over Fairmont on Saturday.
It was the first career slugfest win for St. Pauls head coach Phillip Tyler and the Lady Bulldogs’ three seniors.
Danielle Gray went 2-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run for St. Pauls. JiVee Nettles-Graham finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a double and three RBIs.
Mackenzie Johnson posted a 2-for-3 clip with a pair of doubles for Fairmont.
“We fought it out. We didn’t drop our heads,” Tyler said. “Usually if a team came back like that, we would have folded and probably would have gotten 10-runned in the past. That’s basically what happened the other day at East Columbus. The good thing is they grew up from that.”
The first-inning outburst started after Brianna Brewer notched two of her 10 strikeouts in the top of the frame.
Fairmont got its final two runs against Brewer in the sixth inning, with one coming on a fielder’s choice and the other resulting from a wild pitch.
St. Pauls plated two more runs on an error in the bottom of the inning to fend off Fairmont’s comeback attempt.
The Lady Bulldogs moved on to face Lumberton in the semifinals at 7 p.m. on Monday. Fairmont gets South Robeson at 1 p.m.
Tyler said his team needs to “fight and play every play like it’s your last play” when they take on the No. 1 Lady Pirates.
“I told the seniors, this is it for them in the Slugfest. There’s not another one coming. You’ve got to stay the course.”
Womack tosses no-hitter to power Bucks past Lady Red Devils
Hoke’s Ina Womack tallied eight strikeouts while registering a no-hitter as the Bucks earned a 10-0 run-rule victory over Red Springs in six innings.
Autumn Hardin went 2-for-for with a double and an RBI for the Bucks. Alexis Blackwell launched the first home run of the tournament, a solo shot in the 5th inning, while going 1-for 3 at the plate.
The Bucks plated at least one run in every inning except the third. They scored four runs in the fifth inning to pull within two runs of invoking the 10-run rule.
Hoke will face off against Purnell Swett in the semifinals at 4 p.m. on Monday. Red Springs will take on West Bladen at 10 a.m. on Monday in the consolation bracket.
Top-seeded Lady Pirates run-rule Lady Mustangs
Lumberton’s offense erupted for 10 runs in the third inning on the way to a 16-1 win over South Robeson.
The Lady Mustangs’ only run came when KK Riveira scored on a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Kasey West went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs for the Lady Pirates. Morgan Britt was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and three RBIs. Rachel O’Neil finished 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Riveira led South Robeson with a 2-for-2 performance at the plate that included two doubles. Effie Oxendine and Destiney Purdie both went 1-for-2.
Britt also registered six strikeouts and yielded four hits in the circle for Lumberton.
Lumberton will take on St. Pauls at 7 p.m. on Monday after the Lady Mustangs play Fairmont at 1 p.m.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.