PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Middle School softball team continued its reign of dominance against in-county competition Thursday, defeating Littlefield Middle School 10-0 in five innings to win the Robeson County middle school softball championship.
Pembroke capped its second consecutive 15-0 season with the win and took home the title for the third consecutive year.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Pembroke head coach Tony Bullard said. “This group of ladies has played two years without losing a ballgame. It’s one of the best teams that’s come through this middle school. They came in here, they worked and they were ready to play ball.”
Littlefield ended its season with a record of 10-4. All four of those losses were against Pembroke.
“Nobody put us here at the beginning of the season,” Littlefield head coach Amylee Lancaster said. “We have a young team. I can’t say enough about the girls I have. I have a team of seventh graders. They made me proud. I can’t say enough about how hard they’ve worked to get here.”
Summer Bullard put the Lady Warriors on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the first inning. Chandra Locklear continued the early rally with a two-RBI double to put Pembroke up by three runs.
The Lady Warriors plated two more runs before the end of the inning. Bullard struck out the side in the second inning to prevent a response from the Lady Hornets.
Pembroke scored its final final six runs in the second inning. Chloe Locklear stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a three-RBI triple, before another run scored on a dropped third strike. Bullard then drove in a run with Pembroke’s second triple of the inning, increasing the Lady Warriors’ lead to nine runs.
A wild pitch helped Pembroke’s tenth run score from third base.
With their backs against the wall in the fifth inning, the Lady Hornets got a runner on base quickly as Erin Warwick drew a leadoff walk. She then advanced to second base on a groundout, but Bullard was able to get out of the inning and end the game without any damage being done.
“This is a team that has stayed together,” Bullard said. “They’ve played together recreationally, they’ve played together in travel ball. It’s a sisterhood.”
Lancaster said the Lady Hornets used each game this season as an opportunity to develop their fundamental skills, and she hopes the players will continue developing their knowledge over the offseason.
“Some that didn’t play ball in the past have learned how to play ball,” Lancaster said. “They play together no matter what. They’ve learned what a team is.”
Bullard said the Lady Warriors responded well to a challenge he gave them before the game.
“I told them in the locker room, ‘This is your game to lose. If you lose this, you’ve lost the whole season,’” Bullard said.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.