High School Sports

Wake Christian softball digs the long ball – and sometimes the small ball

Wake Christian pitcher Marissa Green fields a bunt and throws to first as NRCA's Blakely McKinion, left, runs the bases during NRCA's softball game at Wake Christian on Friday, April 28, 2017. Wake Christian won the game 10-1.
Wake Christian pitcher Marissa Green fields a bunt and throws to first as NRCA's Blakely McKinion, left, runs the bases during NRCA's softball game at Wake Christian on Friday, April 28, 2017. Wake Christian won the game 10-1. newsobserver.com

The Wake Christian softball team is ready to start the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state playoffs this week because the Bulldogs are red hot.

Wake Christian has won 16 games when scoring at least 10 runs, and they’re getting it done in every way imaginable: a little power, a little speed and a little “small ball.”

“I’m not a fan of small ball. It’s not my cup of tea. But sometimes you have to use it to set up the long ball,” said Bulldogs coach Eric Lee. “And I think you saw that (in an April 28 win over North Raleigh Christian). We bunted three or four times and created a bit of chaos. I’ve got kids on this team that can get down the line and can steal bases. People don’t get to see a lot of that because of the long ball.”

Wake Christian has hit 32 of those long balls. Marissa Green and Savannah Craft have seven each, and freshman Haley Haislip leads the way with 11.

Lee’s team can get on base in other ways too.

At the top of the order, Logan Winstead has 41 hits and is batting .482. Maggie Lucas has seven doubles and is hitting .397. Then there’s Haislip, Craft and Green in the heart of the order.

“The kids at the top of the lineup set the table,” Lee said. “Logan has been a staple at the top of the lineup. She’s the fastest kid I’ve ever coached. She really sets it up for everybody else. Maggie Lucas comes in behind that, and they really set it up for everybody else.”

The Bulldogs (25-4) are the No. 3 seed in the bracket and received a first-round bye. With a win Tuesday against Concord’s Cannon School, Wake Christian would advance to the four-team double-elimination portion at Campbell University.

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