WINTERVILLE, N.C. -- Sophomore Tabby Dabney/Mechanicsville had three hits, including two home runs, and five RBIs, while classmate Katelyn King/Chesterfield had three hits and one RBI, to lead Richard Bland College to a 9-8 Region 10 softball victory at Pitt (N.C.) Community College on Wednesday evening in Winterville, North Carolina. Freshman Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper gained the pitching triumph for the visiting Statesmen (12-16, 10-5), who rallied with three runs in the seventh inning, against the host Bulldogs (15-10, 12-5). The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was rained out and will be played at a later date, to be determined.
Richard Bland scored nine runs on 13 hits, including the three runs in the seventh for the come-from-behind victory. The Statesmen added two runs in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth before the last at-bat rally. In the fourth, Dabney (3-4, 5 RBIs) hit a two-run home run that also plated sophomore August Ringer/Yale (0-4), who had reached on an error to open the frame. In the fifth, Ringer reached on a two-out error that allowed King (3-4, RBI), who had singled with one out, to score, and Ringer later crossed the plate on an RBI double by Dabney. In the sixth, freshman Ashley Fritz/North Chesterfield (1-4) doubled to open the at-bat and later scored on a ground ball double-play out.
In the decisive seventh, Dabney led off with her second homer of the game, a solo blast, followed by a double from freshman Kay'Lee Justice/Suffolk (1-3), who scored the game-tying run via an RBI single by Bilyard (1-4, RBI). King provided the heroics with a clutch, two-out RBI single that moved Bilyard across the plate with the game-winning run.
Dabney and King each collected three hits, while freshman Taylor Daniel/Alberta (2-4) had two hits in the game for Richard Bland. Dabney leads Richard Bland with six home runs, and the Statesmen now have a new school-record 19 homers this season.
Bilyard (3-2) pitched the final 4.1 innings for the win in relief, scattering five hits and three runs, all earned, with four strikeouts and three walks. Sophomore Shannon Buffington/Virginia Beach started in the circle and tossed the first 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and five runs, one earned, with no strikeouts and two walks. The Statesmen were able to avenge one of the two home games dropped to Pitt CC on April 1.
Richard Bland will welcome Region 10 opponent Florence-Darlington (S.C.) Technical College, ranked No. 10 in this week's NJCAA Division II Softball Poll, on Saturday, April 8 for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. at the RBC Softball Field.