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Western Harnett evens score on Lady Cavs

Mar. 13—Early on, it looked like Southern Lee's softball team might go on the road and pull off a season sweep of former conference rival Western Harnett. However, the Lady Cavaliers were not able to go the distance despite a strong hitting effort.

Southern (2-4 overall) outhit the host Eagles 10-8 in Monday's non-conference contest, but were doomed to a 17-7 defeat due in large part to 17 walks issued by Lady Cavalier pitching to the Eagles. Western trailed 2-0 after the top of the first and was down 5-4 in the middle of the third after a half-inning that featured a solo home run by Maggie Lucas and a two-out, two-run single from Ava Sharpe that drove in Carrie Ellen Bryan and Natalie Guevara to put Southern back on top.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they rest of the game belonged to Western, which had lost 19-13 to Southern Lee earlier this season. The Lady Eagles scored three runs in their half of the third to retake the lead, and then took control of the game when the Lady Cavaliers were unable to score in the fourth, leaving Guevara on base. A five-run fourth for Western made the lead 12-5. Southern scored one run in each of the final two innings, but the Lady Eagles walked off with the win following a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth by Gianna McDonald, which drove in Olivia Moomaw to restore a 10-run lead.

Southern appeared as if it would be able to go the distance after getting two straight outs with one on base, but then allowed a walk and three straight hits to allow the Lady Eagles to score twice.

The Lady Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after a fielding error allowed Albani Hooker and Guevara to score with two outs. Guevara had walked and Hooker had been hit by a pitch earlier in the inning. Western got one of the runs back in its half of the first, after Grace Andersen led off with a walk and later scored on a groundout.

Western took the lead in the second, after holding Southern off the board in its half of the inning. Faith Woodard's forceout scored Moomaw, and a two-run single by Andersen drove in Woodard and Ryley Brewer for a 4-2 lead.

Lucas led off the third with a home run before Sharpe's hit later in the inning allowed the Lady Cavaliers to retake the lead for the last time.

Bryan, Sharpe and Delaney Maria all had two hits for the Lady Cavaliers. Sharpe drove in two runs, while Guevara and Bryan each scored two. Andersen, the leadoff hitter for Western, had a perfect day at the plate, going 1-for-1 with four walks and driving in two. McDonald matched that line and had three RBI. Moomaw went 2-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and four runs scored. Pitcher Morgan McAuley, who had a complete game with three earned runs, scored three runs herself, as did Madison Wear. Woodard and Audrina Gibson each drove in two.

Southern traveled to Pinecrest Tuesday night and will visit Hoke on Friday.