WALLBURG — Ledford softball was able to bounce back from its first loss of the season Wednesday in dominant fashion, as the Panthers silenced Salisbury, 8-0.
Chloe Everhart pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just one hit over seven innings while striking out 10. Juli Motsinger was a menace to the Hornets throughout, as she went 3-for-4 with three stolen bases, scoring each time she reached base.
It was the Panthers’ first game of the year that counted toward the Central Carolina 2-A Conference standings. Ledford dropped a 3-0 contest to Central Davidson on Monday in what was scheduled as a non-conference tilt.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced several unorthodox quirks in scheduling throughout the state, including the frequency of league opponents playing each other in what are officially considered nonconference events. That was the case for the Panthers, which defeated Oak Grove 10-9 following the season-opening 18-3 victory over Glenn.
“Scheduling was crazy,” Ledford coach Charlie Brown said. “But I’m thankful to be out here with the girls and thankful to be able to play.”
Motsinger has been on a torrid streak to begin the season. Across four games, the senior is 11-for-15 with four stolen bases and three RBIs. Sophie Wheat and Sophie Conger have also lit up opposing pitchers thus far.
Wheat went 2-for-3 Wednesday with a double and two runs batted in after opening the season against Glenn with a two-hit performance, including a double, home run and four RBIs. Conger added an RBI to her total Wednesday days after destroying the ball against Glenn and Oak Grove, combining for four hits, a double, triple, home run and six RBIs in those first two outings.
Brown was pleased that his team came away with the win Wednesday, but also said he believes the first two contests were more indicative of his team’s ceiling.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty well, but I thought we could have hit the ball better. We have hit better,” Brown said. “When we had to get it done, we did. We had people on base and we had people step up and knock some runs in for us.
“Chloe pitched well. That’s her first full seven-inning game. … I thought pitching seven innings was good for her, getting back into it.”
Ledford (3-1, 1-0 CCC 2-A) will next face East Davidson on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.