By Cameron Hildebrand
For the James River Varsity Softball team, the month of April has been a rollercoaster ride. Throughout this month the team has had games each week, except during spring break.
The first game took place in Springwood against the visiting Floyd County Buffaloes. Floyd scored a rally of five runs off of five hits in the second inning. In the big inning, the Buffaloes had two doubles and a triple extended due to a James River error in the middle of the second inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, however, James River gained three runs with an RBI by pitcher Ainsley Simmons. Lakota Lucado then followed with a two run single. To end the inning, as the tying run, Lacey Lucado hit a hard line drive to deep center field.
Throughout the last three inning James river got runners on, but were unable to get another run to score. The James River team lost the game 6-3.
Three of the runs scored throughout the game were earned, while the other three were not. Pitcher Ainsley Simmons struck out three hitter and walked none, while allowing seven hits.
James River had seven hits along with the visiting team. This includes two from junior Lakota Lucado, and two additional hits from senior Erin Peery.
That following weekend, the Knights were set to play one game on Friday and two games on Saturday in the annual Botetourt Bash that is hosted at the Botetourt Sports Complex. After some rain, the schedule eliminated the Friday night game and the team only played two games on Saturday.
The first game on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, ended with the final score of 1-0, giving the win the St. Margarets. Their only run in the first inning was unearned. The Scotties held the Knights to three hits and two walks and nevermore than one base runner in a single inning.
The second game was back-to-back at 11:00 AM against Amanda Clearcreek High School from Ohio. In the first inning the Knights jumped up with a 3-0 lead with contributions from Cameron Hildebrand with a triple, Lakota Lucado with a walk, and Lacey Lucado with a double. Evie Melvin and Erin Peery ended the inning with ground out RBIs.
Lacey had another double with an RBI, a walk, a hit by pitch, and run scored. Simmons pitched the entire second game as well while striking out five and only two walks. The Ohio team held onto the win 5-3.
Following on April 9, the James River team beats Giles County in five innings, 11-1. Cameron Hildebrand contributed three doubles and scored three runs to lead. Additionally, Madison Brogan had two singles and three RBIs and Lakota Lucado had an RBI double, two walks, three runs scored, and a stolen base.
Pitcher Ainsley Simmons allowed one infield hit in the five inning game and stuck out eight batters while only walking one.
Following a week of spring break with only one practice on Thursday, due to weather conditions, the Knights headed to Buena Vista to face Parry McCluer for the second time on the 22nd. The game started off with a leadoff walk by Cameron Hildebrand and a double from Lacey Lucado to score Hildebrand with the Knights only run of the game. The only other hits of the Blues’ pitcher were Alyson McCullough’s bunt single in the third inning and Evie Melvin’s single to left in the seventh inning.
Going off of a rough start from spring break with a Parry McCluer loss on Monday, the Knights went on a back-to-back roadtrip to Hillsville to face Carroll County. In the first inning Cameron Hildebrand and Lacey Lucado earned walks and stolen bases to set it up to score off of Payton Kreklow’s two RBI single.
Later in the game Alyson McCullough sacrificed bunted on two occasions to put runners in scoring positions and Hildebrand followed with a two RBI single and a two RBI double.
To finish off April, the Knights will play at home on the 29th against the Radford Bobcats and on the 30th at Glenvar High School. From there, the Knights have seven more regular-season games and four of them are home games including May 13th, which is senior night. The team will recognize six of their seniors, who of which five of them regularly start.