Recognizing the unsung heroes of Robeson County baseball and softball

By: By Brandon Tester - Staff writer
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Purnell Swett’s Katlyn Jones prepares to swing during a game earlier this season. Jones had a .333 batting average with 14 RBIs for the Lady Rams this season.

LUMBERTON — There are numerous skills required to be successful in baseball and softball, and many of them are not always reflected on the stat sheet.

Whether it’s a sacrifice fly, walk-off hit or a stolen base, players can contribute in a variety of ways that make a significant, yet relatively unheralded, difference for their team

Several players in Robeson County have risen to the occasion this season as their teams’ unsung heroes. While their stat lines may not always appear in the newspaper, their coaches would say these players are indispensable because of the integral roles they fill on the field.

As an infielder for the Fairmont baseball team, Marcus Ransom hit .329 with 26 runs scored, nine RBIs and two triples. He also made nine appearances on the mound for the Tornadoes, posting a 3.97 ERA in 12 1/3 innings while registering 15 strikeouts.

His utility role was especially useful for the Golden Tornadoes when they needed a fourth arm to relieve their pitching rotation of Randy Floyd, Seth Thorndyke and Andrew Smith.

Senior Courtney Purvis was one of the most reliable fielders for the Fairmont softball team. She had a fielding percentage of .925 while also driving in six runs at the plate.

Kelvin Ortega was one of the most consistent hitters for the Lumberton baseball team this season. His eight RBIs put him in a tie with Kris Allen for the highest total on the team. He also had two doubles, making him one of three Pirates to have more than one extra base hit.

Ortega also registered a walk-off single with the bases-loaded to give Lumberton an 8-7 win over Scotland in April.

Lumberton softball player Katie Kinlaw’s ability to deliver in clutch situations paid off in several games this season. She logged two walk-off hits this season, launching a game-winning sacrifice fly against Jack Britt in March before registering an RBI single that gave Lumberton an 8-7 win over Rolesville in the first round of the playoffs.

Kinlaw also picked up a base hit in the fourth inning to end Richmond pitcher Greyson Way’s no-hit bid in the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.

Noah Locklear provided a steady bat and reliable glove for the Purnell Swett baseball team. Locklear batted .267 with 15 runs scored and nine RBIs. He also drew the third-most walks on the team with 13 and had the highest on-base percentage at .459.

Defensively, Locklear posted a .957 fielding percentage and committed just one error.

Catcher Katlyn Jones had an impressive season behind the plate for the Purnell Swett softball team as the batterymate of Robeson County Slugfest MVP JaiLeana Deese. Jones had a .983 fielding percentage while batting .333 with 14 RBIs and four doubles.

Red Springs infielder Jayshawn Carthen posted the team’s third-highest batting average at .320 to go along with 27 runs scored. He was also the most walked Red Devil with 16 bases on balls.

Carthen also struck out 10 batters in 8 1/3 innings on the mound.

Freshman Kailee Sampson was a bright spot in an a disappointing year for the Red Springs softball team. She was named to the Robeson County Slugfest all-tournament team in her first year with the program .

The South Robeson baseball team had several experienced players it looked to for consistency and leadership. One of those players was Cody Scott.

The junior catcher was one of the team’s most talented defenders and worked well with ace Zack Carter. When Scott missed time with an injury near the end of March, the Mustangs were less consistent on defense without him behind the plate.

Teaming up with KK Riveira as two of the South Robeson softball team’s biggest weapons, Destiney Purdie was a consistent contributor for the Lady Mustangs. Purdies efforts earned her a spot on the Slugfest all-tournament team.

St. Pauls baseball player Caleb Henderson was a tough out to get this season. He showed his ability to get hits in critical situations at several times throughout the year, including a walk-off two-RBI double against South Robeson in April. He also posted four RBIs in the Bulldogs’ victory over Red Springs in the opening round of the Slugfest.

Kourtney Sanchious produced runs when the St. Pauls softball team needed them. The first baseman scored 14 runs and scored 12 more this season. She also logged eight stolen bases.

Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Purnell Swett’s Katlyn Jones prepares to swing during a game earlier this season. Jones had a .333 batting average with 14 RBIs for the Lady Rams this season.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_DSC_0113_ne201851819470.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Purnell Swett’s Katlyn Jones prepares to swing during a game earlier this season. Jones had a .333 batting average with 14 RBIs for the Lady Rams this season.

By Brandon Tester

Staff writer

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.