BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Freshmen Kay'Lee Justice/Suffolk (2-3, 3 RBIs) and Kennedy Presson/Wakefield (1-3, 2 RBIs) combined for three hits and five RBIs in the first game, and sophomore Tabby Dabney/Mechanicsville (3-4, 3 RBIs) and freshman Brooklynn Bilyard/Culpeper (2-3, 3 RBIs) combined for five hits and six RBIs in the second game, to lead No. 3 seed Richard Bland College to wins past No. 6 seed Patrick Henry Community College (8-0) and No. 2 seed Florence-Darlington (S.C.) Technical College (11-1), respectively, at the 2017 NJCAA Region 10 Softball Championship on Friday at Springwood Park in Burlington, North Carolina. Sophomore Shannon Buffington/Virginia Beach gained the complete-game shutout pitching victory for the Statesmen (24-19) against the Patriots (5-23), while Brooklynn Bilyard earned the complete-game pitching triumph against the Stingers (27-11).
Against Patrick Henry in a game shortened to five innings via the run rule (8-0), Richard Bland scored eight runs on 12 hits, scoring two runs in the first inning, five runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth inning. In the first, Justice provided an RBI triple and freshman Ashley Fritz/North Chesterfield (1-3, RBI) added a run-scoring single. Freshman Taylor Daniel/Alberta (0-2) scored on the triple after reaching on an error, while Justice crossed the plate on the hit by Fritz.
In the fourth, Presson provided a two-run double before a run-scoring single by Bilyard (1-3, RBI) and a two-run single from Justice. Sophomores Katelyn King/Chesterfield (2-3) and Morgan Whitley/Franklin (2-3) scored on the double after reaching on a double and single, respectively, while Presson, Bilyard and Dabney (2-3) each crossed the plate during the at-bat. Dabney had singled, as well. In the fifth, sophomore August Ringer/Yale (1-3, RBI) ended the contest with a two-out RBI single that plated Whitley, who had also singled.
Dabney, Justice, King and Whitley each collected two hits in the game for Richard Bland.
Buffington (8-9) started in the circle and tossed the 5.0 inning shutout, yielding just two hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
Against Florence-Darlington in another game shortened to five innings via the run rule (11-1), Richard Bland scored 11 runs on 12 hits, scoring two runs in the third inning, five runs in the fourth and four runs in the fifth inning. In the third, Justice (1-3, RBI) had a sacrifice fly RBI and Fritz (1-3, RBI) added a two-out RBI single to score Bilyard and Daniel (1-3, RBI), respectively. Bilyard had walked and Daniel had reached on an infield single.
In the fourth, Dabney had the big hit … a three-run home run with one out that also scored Ringer (1-2, RBI) and Bilyard. It was Dabney's team-best and school-record 10th homer this season. Ringer and Bilyard had each reached on RBI singles, plating Whitley (0-2) and Presson (2-3, RBI), respectively, who had walked and singled, respectively. In the fifth, Presson had an RBI single to score King (1-2) and Bilyard added a two-run triple to score both Whitley and Presson. King had walked and Whitley had reached on an error, while Bilyard also crossed the plate when Daniel reached base on another error.
Dabney had three hits, while Bilyard and Presson each collected two hits in the game for Richard Bland.
Bilyard (8-2) started in the circle and tossed the 5.0 innings, scattering four hits and one run, earned, with four strikeouts and six walks.
Richard Bland will play No. 1 seed Pitt (N.C.) Community College on Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m. in Burlington, North Carolina. The Bulldogs received a first round bye on Friday before defeating No. 5 seed Surry (N.C.) Community College.
The championship game is scheduled for Saturday (May 6) at 2 p.m., and if necessary in the double-elimination tournament, a second title contest would follow one hour after the conclusion of the 2 p.m. game.
The Region 10 Championship winner will advance to the 2017 NJCAA Division II Softball Championship May 17-20 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Mississippi.