SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomore Tabby Dabney/Mechanicsville had four hits and one RBI, and freshman Kay'Lee Justice/Suffolk had three hits, including one home run, and six RBIs, but Richard Bland College dropped a Region 10 softball doubleheader to Pitt (N.C.) Community College on Saturday at the RBC Softball Field. Dabney took the pitching decision in the 8-3 opener for the host Statesmen (11-16, 9-5), while sophomore Shannon Buffington/Virginia Beach took the pitching decision in the 12-11 nightcap against the visiting Bulldogs (13-9, 10-4).
In the first game, Richard Bland scored three runs on 10 hits, plating one run in the fifth inning and two runs in the seventh. In the fifth, Dabney (2-4, RBI) had an RBI single that scored sophomore August Ringer/Yale (2-4), who had reached on an error. In the seventh, freshman Kara Morris/Kents Store (1-3, RBI) had a run-scoring single and Justice (1-3, RBI) drove in a run with a ground ball out. Freshman Taylor Daniel/Alberta (2-3) and Ringer crossed the plate during the final at-bat.
Dabney, Daniel and Ringer each collected two hits in game one for Richard Bland.
Dabney (4-5) started in the circle and tossed the first 4.1 innings, scattering 10 hits and eight runs, four earned, with four strikeouts and one walk. Freshman Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper pitched the final 2.2 scoreless innings, yielding three hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
In the second game, Richard Bland scored 11 runs on 12 hits, including four runs in the first inning, one run each in the third and fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more runs in the seventh inning. In the first, Justice (2-4, 5 RBIs) had a two-run single, while sophomore Katelyn King/Chesterfield (2-2, 2 RBIs) and Daniel (1-2, RBI) each walked with the bases loaded to plate runs. Ringer (1-5), Morris (1-3, 2 RBIs), Dabney (2-4) and Justice crossed the plate during the at-bat.
In the third, King added an RBI double to score freshman Kennedy Presson/Wakefield (2-4), while in the fourth, Justice added a sacrifice fly to plate Morris. In the fifth, Morris contributed a two-run single to push both freshman Ashley Fritz/North Chesterfield (1-3, RBI) and Daniel across the plate. In the sixth, Fritz added an RBI double to score Presson.
In the seventh, Justice slammed a one-out, two-run home run to pull the Statesmen within a run, but the game ended with the one-run margin. Dabney scored ahead of Justice, who hit her fourth homer in the last four games. It also established a new program record for season home runs with 17, surpassing the 16 homers hit during 2015. Justice leads the way with five home runs this season, followed by Dabney (4), Bilyard (4), King (2), Presson (1) and freshman Kamryn Lanier/Chester (1).
Dabney, Justice, King and Presson each had two hits in game two for Richard Bland.
Buffington (4-8) tossed the final 1.1 inning, allowing six hits and seven runs, four earned, with no strikeouts and no walks. Bilyard started in the circle and pitched the first 5.2 innings, scattering six hits and five runs, all earned, with three strikeouts and six walks.
Ironically, Richard Bland will travel to play on the road at Pitt Community College next Wednesday, April 5 at 4 p.m. in Winterville, North Carolina.