Under most circumstances, four or five runs would be considered an offensive outburst for the Conway softball team.
So as the Tigers paraded around the bases Friday night against rival Carolina Forest, no one was as surprised as their head coach, Mike Skipper.
“We’re really a defensive ballclub,” he said. “Four, five and six runs usually is as much as we can get. But to hang double-digits on the board? It’s showing we are coming around in the batter’s box as well.”
While seven hits may not seem as that many, Conway made sure its visitors from just across the Waccamaw River felt each one.
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The Tigers hit three home runs — including a second-inning grand slam off the bat of Taylor Richardson — en route to a 12-1 triumph over Carolina Forest.
Neci Hemingway and Rebekah Parker also had solo blasts in the rout.
“I told the girls before the game, let’s keep our foot on the gas. Let’s not trip and stub our toe tonight,” Skipper said. “So this was a great win for us, a big win.
“We’ve been swinging the bat really well lately, been hitting a few home runs like we did tonight and scoring runs and had timely hits last few games. It’s all been coming together for us.”
Down 1–0 in the second, Conway (6-4, 4-1 Region VI-5A) hung five runs on the scoreboard, due in large part to Richardson’s grand slam. Hemingway also had her say in the inning, sending a shot over the left center-field fence for a home run.
The next inning, Parker joined in on the hit parade with her first career home run. Conway would add runs in the fourth and the fifth, with Ashley Rowell’s triple putting a bow on the night, bringing in three Tigers and ending the contest by 10-run rule.
Richardson was 1-for-2 with five runs batted in, while Rowell was 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
In addition to hitting a home run, Hemingway was stellar on the mound for Conway, pitching all five innings. She allowed only four hits and one run in a winning effort.
“Neci has been a huge part of our offense and defense,” Skipper said. “They’ve all been playing great defense lately. We have not been beating ourselves, which is a little different than in the past.”
With the loss, Carolina Forest drops to 4-6 overall, and 2-3 in Region VI-5A.
According to Carolina Forest softball coach Chad Sildt, Conway capitalized on each of his teams mistakes — as good teams tend to do.
“We wanted to jump on (Conway) early, and we did that,” he said. “We also knew we had to be efficient and have good pitching, and minimize our mistakes defensively. But tonight our pitchers couldn’t hit their spots, leaving a couple of two-strike pitches up. And the way Conway hits it, you can’t do that.”
WP: Neci Hemingway LP: Emma Liles Top hitters — CF: Four players were 1-for-2. CON: Taylor Richardson 1-for-2, Grand Slam, 2 R, 5 RBI; Ashley Rowell 1-for-3, 3 RBI; Neci Hemingway 1-for-2, HR, RBI; Rebekah Parker 1-for-1, HR, 3 R, RBI.