A four-run bottom of the fourth broke things open for Eastern Alamance’s softball team Tuesday night as the Eagles knocked off MId-State Conference rival Rockingham County, 5-2 at home in Mebane. The Eagles got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the first, and the four-run fourth gave EAHS a commanding 5-0 lead.
Although the visiting Cougars managed to score two runs off winning pitcher Kenna Raye Dark in the top of the seventh, the Eagles hung on for the three-run triumph to improve to 4-0 on the young season.
Sophomore Molly Lawson belted her second home run of the season as the Eagles built their commanding lead. Lawson also crushed a home run on the road at Northern Guilford as EAHS blew out the Nighthawks, 15-0, on March 24.
Dark once again went the distance on the mound, striking out 13 Cougars over seven innings with only one walk, allowing just four hits. The junior phenom carried a shutout into the top of the seventh, but a pair of RBI hits by Rockingham seniors Hope Smith and Madison Courts gave the visiting Cougars hope for an improbable comeback win. But Dark shut the door to improve to 4-0.
In addition to her victorious pitching on the mound, Dark also led the way offensively for the Eagles with three hits, including a home run in Eastern’s offensive explosion in the bottom of the fourth. Dark finished the night with four RBIs and a run scored. Fellow junior Kyra Jones added two hits and a run, while Jayden Brown and Reagan Hartley also scored runs for the Eagles.
EAHS, currently the top-ranked team in North Carolina and the No. 9 softball team nationally in the maxpreps.com national rankings, has the rest of the week off. The Eagles will have a busy week next week over Spring Break, as they will host McMichael the evening of Tuesday, April 6 in Mebane, and then travel to Morehead the evening of Thursday, April 8 before turning around the next night and hosting Morehead back at home.
The win over Rockingham Tuesday night solidified Eastern’s hold atop the Mid-State Conference standings heading into next week’s Spring Break. At a perfect 4-0, EAHS remains a game ahead of Western Alamance, who the Eagles defeated last week in a hard-fought 3-2 triumph. All other teams in the conference have at least two defeats thus far in the season.