Doubleheader Video Highlights (YouTube)
SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Freshman Ashley Fritz/North Chesterfield had three hits and three RBIs, and classmate Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper had three hits and two RBIs, to lead Richard Bland College to a Region 10 softball doubleheader sweep past Patrick Henry Community College on Friday at the RBC Softball Field. Sophomore Shannon Buffington/Virginia Beach gained the pitching victory in the 5-1 opener for the host Statesmen (20-18, 14-7), while Brooklynn Bilyard earned a save in the opener before taking the complete-game pitching triumph in the 8-0 nightcap against the visiting Patriots (4-18, 4-14).
In the first game, Richard Bland scored five runs on nine hits, plating one run in the fourth inning and two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Bilyard (0-3) reached on an error and advanced to second on the play before scoring on an RBI single by sophomore Tabby Dabney/Mechanicsville (2-3, RBI).
In the fifth, sophomore Katelyn King/Chesterfield (2-3, RBI) singled to left field and advanced all the way around to score on a subsequent fielding error. Freshman Taylor Daniel/Alberta (1-4, RBI) added a one-out, run-scoring single that plated sophomore Morgan Whitley/Franklin (2-3), who had doubled. In the sixth, Fritz (1-3, RBI) and King each contributed RBI singles with one out that scored Dabney and freshman Kay'Lee Justice/Suffolk (0-2), respectively … Dabney had doubled while Justice drew a walk.
Dabney, King and Whitley each collected two hits in game one for Richard Bland.
Buffington (6-9) started in the circle and tossed the first 5.0 innings, scattering five hits and one run, earned, with one strikeout and no walks. Bilyard (2) tossed the final 2.0 scoreless innings for the save, yielding no hits and no walks while striking out three of the six batters she faced.
In the second game, Richard Bland scored eight runs on 12 hits, including one run in the first inning, four runs in the fourth and three runs in the decisive fifth inning of the run-rule shortened nightcap. In the first, Justice (2-3, RBI) tripled with two outs to score Bilyard (3-3, 2 RBIs), who had singled with one out.
In the fourth, Fritz (2-3, 2 RBIs) had an RBI double to score Whitley (1-1), who had walked, and Bilyard added a two-run double that plated both sophomore August Ringer/Yale (1-2) and Daniel (1-3) … each had singled. King (1-2, RBI) had a sacrifice fly that pushed Fritz across the plate.
In the fifth, Justice and Whitley each singled to open the at-bat, and Fritz singled to score Justice, while Whitley scored via a ground ball RBI by freshman Kamryn Lanier/Chester (1-3, RBI). Fritz later crossed the plate with the game-ending run when freshman Kennedy Presson/Wakefield (0-1, RBI) reached courtesy of an error.
Bilyard had three hits, while Fritz and Justice each had two hits in game two for Richard Bland.
Bilyard (6-2) started in the circle and tossed the complete-game 5.0 shutout innings, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
Hodgkin's Lymphoma Awareness Day
It was Hodgkin's Lymphoma Awareness Day in support of former Statesmen Tiffany Hedge and her fight against Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Tiffany played in six games this season before being diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin's Lymphoma in February. She was expected to be an impact player for the Statesmen this season. A gofundme page, linked below, has been established and all money raised will go toward helping Tiff pay for her medical bills.
Richard Bland, winners of eight-straight games, will remain at home to welcome Region 10 opponent Wake Technical (N.C.) Community College for a doubleheader next Wednesday, April 26 at 5 p.m. at the RBC Softball Field on Sophomore Day for the program. The Statesmen will travel to play a single game on the road at Region 10 opponent Pitt (N.C.) Community College on Thursday, April 27 at 3 p.m. in Winterville, North Carolina. It's a re-scheduled contest from April 5 that was rained out in Carolina.