Moore County Middle School’s run through the Big Southeast Conference Tournament thus far has been halted only by Mother Nature. After beating Fayetteville City and Community and suffering a loss to Cascade, the Raiderettes were locked into the loser’s bracket finals with Community when rain halted the game.
With Moore County trailing 8-1 in the third inning and the season on the line, the game was scheduled to resume at 5 p.m. on Thursday. A win would advance MCMS to the championship against Cascade, while a loss will give the Raiderettes third place in the tournament.
The Raiderettes softball team entered the conference tournament at Community Middle School as the No. 4 seed. Coming off of an 11-0 victory over Eagleville, where Abi Harvey and Bailey Frazier combined for a no-hitter, the Raiderettes were confident.
They faced Fayetteville in the first contest. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning and hammered out an 8-2 victory. Delaney Stevens and Kaitlyn Crowell lead the hit parade with three each. Faith Weddington and Harvey had two apiece, while Frazier, Kynleigh Fanning and Emma Hill each had one.
Moore County played solid defense — allowing only four hits — while Harvey pitched the complete game, racking up 11 strikeouts.
The win moved MCMS into the second round against top-seeded Community, a team that the Raiderettes had lost to twice during the regular season. The Raiderettes kept their hot bats going and claimed a 6-2 win.
They plated three runs to open the contest, but Community answered in the bottom of the first inning scoring two runs of its own. Moore County’s stellar defense backed up a great pitching performance by Harvey and shut the Viqueens down for the remainder of the game. Community didn’t have another base runner until the seventh inning.
The Raiderettes continued to hit the ball, however. In the second inning, Kelli Ray led things off with a walk. She scored when Frazier hit a double to right field, giving MCMS a 4-2 lead. In the top of the fifth, Stevens, Harvey and Crowell ripped three straight singles and Annalea Smith added another hit to put MCMS up 6-2. Community threatened in the seventh with a one-out single, but the next two pitches resulted in the remaining two outs and the Raiderettes earned a 6-2 victory.
Facing the Lady Champs
Moore County moved on to face Cascade on Sunday. Having lost both regular-season games to Cascade, while only managing a total of four hits, the Raiderettes hoped to avenge those losses. Instead, Cascade advanced to the championship game thanks to a 10-7 victory.
Frazier started the game with a triple to right field and came home when the throw in went astray. A Stevens walk, Harvey double and Crowell bunt scored another run, but Moore County stranded three base runners in the inning. Cascade answered quickly with three hits, knotting the score at 2-2. MCMS pounded out four more hits in the second and third innings, but failed to score.
In the bottom of the third, Cascade plated four runs thanks to four hits, a walk and two errors. Moore County wouldn’t quit, however, as the Raiderettes batted around in the fourth, scoring five runs thanks to hits by Frazier, Weddington and Smith, along with two errors and a hit batter by Cascade.
Moore County built a 7-6 lead, but it didn’t last long. Cascade scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 10-7 lead, which proved to be the final tally. The Raiderettes stranded 12 base runners as they pounded out 13 hits. Frazier, Weddington and Smith combined for 10 of those hits. Harvey took the loss on the mound, while picking up eight strikeouts.
The loss sent MCMS to the loser’s bracket. Community advanced to the loser’s bracket finals thanks to an 11-1 win over Westwood.