In what may a great example of what to look forward to in the Greater Neuse River Conference softball race, Clayton rallied to edge East Wake Friday afternoon, 3-2.
The win came just a day after East Wake took the conference opener, 7-6 in 8 innings, over the Comets.
“This was a big win for us, coming off the eight-inning loss, but our league, with teams like Garner and West Johnston is like that. Any win is a big win,” said Clayton coach Kelli Stephenson, whose team is 2-6 overall and 1-1 in the league.
East Wake (5-3, 1-1) appeared ready to sweep the Comets by jumping ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Warriors sophomore left-fielder Gracen Sessoms and senior catcher Brianna Boggs reached on bunt singles and both scored on freshman right fielder Faith Tootle’s line shot to left field.
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But that was all the Warriors could put on the scoreboard against Clayton junior pitcher Hannah McFarland.
“Our defense was strong today, it was a team effort,” Stephenson said.
East Wake ace, senior senior Madison Swiger, gave up just five hits but four came in the third inning when the Comets took the lead, 3-2.
Clayton second baseman Auburn Morgan started the rally with a double to center and and right fielder Samantha Henninger singled, with Morgan scoring on a throwing error. Center fielder Taeya Moloney then reached on a bunt single. Clayton senior shortstop Bailey Perdue, who had a big day at the plate and in the field, then singled in the two runs.
Perdue had two hits for Clayton, while Sessoms and Tootle had two each for East Wake.
“We know every game is going to be competitive and after we went ahead, I knew Clayton would come back at us,” said first-year East Wake coach Whitney Way. “Their shortstop and pitcher both made a couple of great plays. We just couldn’t get anything to fall.”