The East Wake softball team is getting better as the season rolls along and the Warriors displayed some of the reasons why Friday night with a 6-5 victory over Garner.
East Wake (7-2, 5-2) stayed in contention for the top spot in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference thanks to a gutsy pitching performance from Annabeth Watkins and a RBI single from Madison Swiger in the bottom of the sixth inning that finally turned away a much-improved Trojans squad.
Swiger went three-for-three at the plate and drove in three runs on a night that saw the middle of the Warriors lineup come up big.
“I think that our team is getting better every game; our hitting is getting better every game.” East Wake coach Melissa Bell said. “I’m very pleased with the way the girls hit the ball.”
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The Warriors belted out ten hits in all and needed every one to keep pace in a crowded race for the conference title.
Garner didn’t make it easy for their hosts, as the young Trojans are beginning to show some signs of life after a slow start to the season.
Sam Armstrong temporarily gave Garner the lead in the top of the second with a three-run double. Alisha Josey’s RBI double in the third scored Krissy D’Arco and drew the Trojans to within one run.
Garner then tied the contest in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single from Cheyenne Champion that plated D’Arco.
However, after loading the bases with no outs, that one run turned out to be not quite enough to get the Trojans over the hump as Garner (2-8, 2-6) dropped its fourth one-run game on the season.
“We had an ideal situation in the fifth with the bases loaded and nobody out,” Garner coach Moe Barbour said. “We didn’t get it done.”
Watkins went the distance for the Warriors to pick up the win and struck out seven batters.
Garner’s Sam Weidner kept the Trojans in the game all night, striking out four and allowing just one earned run.
East Wake is one game back in the loss column behind league leading Harnett Central and, along with Clayton and West Johnston, is in prime position to contend for the league title.