With slugger Kelly Bright having a quiet night at the plate, Renee Reynolds was left licking her chops.
Reynolds drove home four runs on a trio of doubles to power Cary Academy past Wake Christian 8-1 Thursday night in Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference action.
“She’s always been a big clutch hitter for us and she came through today,” Chargers coach Kim Cherre said.
Reynolds smashed a two-out RBI double off the wall in left field in the top of the first, an RBI double to right in the third and a two-run double off the same spot on the wall in left in the sixth.
“After my first at-bat (Wake Christian pitcher Maggie Lucas) tried to pitch me outside and inside. I tried to hit it wherever she pitched it,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds, a senior center fielder who bats clean-up, hadn’t seen many baserunners in the Chargers’ first two games. That’s because Bright, the team’s third hitter in the lineup, had knocked in an unprecedented 12 runs in two games.
Bright’s two walks and a strikeout on Thursday finally left some runners on base for Reynolds and she knew just what to do.
“I know it’s my job to move the runners so I just try to help them out,” Reynolds said.
Bright did drive home a run on a double of her own, Zoe Dohm had an RBI bunt single and Emily Golden collected three hits for the Chargers (3-0, 1-0).
The turning point in the game came when Wake Christian (3-3, 0-1) trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth and had a runner at third with only one out. But the Bulldogs failed to plate the runner and Cary Academy went on to score five insurance runs over the final three innings thanks in part to three Bulldog defensive miscues.
“I think at the very end they lost their focus a little and it gave us some opportunities to take advantage,” Cherre said. “But it was a close game. It was 3-1 for a long time there.”
Only three of Cary Academy’s runs came earned against the freshman Lucas.
“You take out the critical mistakes and that’s a 3-2 game,” Wake Christian coach Eric Lee said. “And I can’t ask for anything more when I’ve got five freshmen and two sophomores in my starting lineup. I made a couple mistakes myself with the baserunning, sending girls in some situations when maybe I shouldn’t have sent them.”
Caitlyn Conrad held the Bulldogs to just four hits – two of them bunt singles – while striking out eight and surrendering the lone run on a third-inning passed ball.
“Defensively we couldn’t have asked for any more. Caitlyn kept her cool and kept firing and I’m real proud of what we did tonight,” Cherre said. “I think the big thing is that we just kept focused and that’s what pushed us through tonight.”