LUMBERTON — Kasey West and Morgan Britt didn’t have much to say on Tuesday night.
A pair of soft-spoken sophomores on the Lumberton softball team, West and Britt let their play do the talking, leading the Lady Pirates to a 4-3 walk-off win over Pinecrest in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
West finished with four hits and three RBIs for Lumberton (5-2, 1-0 SEC), lining a single to right field for the game winner in the bottom of the seventh.
Britt pitched a complete game in the circle, logged a pair of hits and scored two runs, crossing the plate in the seventh to snap a six-game losing streak against the Lady Patriots (4-3, 0-1).
“I was running as fast as I could to get home,” Britt said. “It feels good to start out with a win in conference.”
Battling an illness, Britt allowed seven hits, three earned runs and finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work.
“I’ve been sick all week. … I was tired but I did good,” she said. “(I just) hit my spots and let the defense help behind me.”
For Lumberton coach Mackie Register, the success of his sophomore studs came as no surprise.
“Morgan didn’t even practice (on Monday),” he said. “She battled all night.”
“Kasey has been hot all year,” he said. “She gets the triple (in the first inning) and then the big hit to win the game. Kasey has come up for us in big spots. I felt good going into that last inning. I knew if we could hold them in the top of the seventh, we had the top of our lineup back up.”
Pinecrest jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after back-to-back singles by Hailey Sales and Alyssa Drake, but Madison Canady got one run back in the bottom half with an RBI groundout. West tied the game in the third inning with an infield single and gave the Lady Pirates a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a hard groundball to third base.
The Lady Patriots tied the game in the sixth inning on a bunt single by Sales, who finished with a team-best three hits and two RBIs.
With Lumberton set to travel to Pinecrest on Friday for the second game of the season series, Register knows the Lady Pirates have to keep their focus on the road ahead as conference play kicks into high gear.
“Every night we play in the conference, it’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “You have to protect your house, and we did that. … To win the first conference game, that’s a good start for us.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we have a lot to work with, too. Anytime you get a win in this conference it’s big.”
Martinez powers Pinecrest past Lumberton
Zach Martinez finished with two hits, including a two-run homer to lift the Pinecrest baseball team to a 6-0 win at Lumberton on Tuesday night.
The Patriots (7-2, 1-0 SEC) scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to earn the victory over the Pirates (2-5, 0-1), who managed just three hits on the night.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.