PEMBROKE — The Purnell Swett softball team’s seniors made their final home game a successful one, driving in five of the team’s six runs as the Lady Rams defeated Lumberton 6-1 on Wednesday.
Madison Strickland finished with three RBIs, Magan Barton registered a solo home run and Kaitlyn Hunt drove in a run on a sacrifice fly for Purnell Swett (15-5, 10-4 SAC), who prevented the Lady Pirates (13-9, 7-7 SAC) from avenging their loss in the Robeson County Slugfest championship game earlier this season.
“We’ve been talking about it since last week. We’ve been saying we need to get this win since it’s our senior night,” Barton said. “We had to do what we do best.”
Barton launched her homer to left field in the fourth inning, breathing a sigh of relief after the ball narrowly stayed out of foul territory.
The Lady Pirates intentionally walked Barton an inning later to load the bases. Strickland made them pay for that decision by picking up a base-clearing, three-RBI double for the Lady Rams.
“I’m glad they put Magan on and loaded the bases,” Strickland said. “I couldn’t have done it without all of them.”
The surge came after Kaitlyn Hunt drove in Purnell Swett’s first run of the game in the first inning with a sacrifice fly.
Junior pitcher JaiLeana Deese was the only non-senior to bring home a run for the Lady Rams. She hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score MariJo Wilkes from third base.
“They’re playing good ball. Defensively, we were on point,” Purnell Swett head coach William Deese said. “We swung the bats well and got the runners on. We got the bunts down like we should and got the big hit. With defense, swinging the bats well and pitching, put those three together and we’ll be hard to beat.”
Deese took care of the pitching aspect for the Lady Rams, registering five strikeouts and walking one while allowing four hits over seven innings.
Lumberton’s only run came on an RBI groundout by Madison Canady in the sixth inning.
The Lady Rams registered nine hits as Nakayia Hunt took the loss in the circle for Lumberton. Hunt tallied three strikeouts and a pair of walks for the Lady Pirates.
Strickland finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs for Purnell Swett. Nakyra Mitchell was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Ariel Allbrooks went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Lady Pirates, who also got hits from Kasey West and Morgan Britt.
“It feels great,” Kaitlyn Hunt said about getting a win over their rivals on senior night. “We were really prepared for them this time.”
William Deese said he was proud of his senior class for taking advantage of their time in the spotlight.
“It was an emotional night. I told them all day it was their night,” he said. “They stepped up. They’ve stepped up all year.”
Purnell Swett baseball gets senior day win
The Purnell Swett baseball team honored its nine seniors before earning a 7-3 victory over Lumberton on Wednesday.
One of those seniors, Dakota Locklear, picked up the win for the Rams after throwing for five innings. Jeremiah Locklear and Eugene Wilkins both pitched one inning in relief.
“It feels good. It’s just another game, really,” Dakota Locklear said. “It’s my last game at home, but it’s just normal.”
Purnell Swett (8-14, 5-8 SAC) seniors Brayden Scott and Trevan Locklear went 3-for-4 and 1-for-3 at the plate, respectively. Locklear also drove in a pair of runs.
“I’m just glad I could play here with my teammates. It’s a really amazing night,” senior Braiden Locklear said.
Kris Allen picked up two hits for the Pirates (5-13, 3-10 SAC).
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.