AYDEN— Over the last few days, March has come in like a lion.
Cold temps and steady winds have been the norm and it was in these conditions Wednesday that the Greene Central softball team hosted Washington in the first Eastern Carolina Conference game of the season.
Both teams came into the game with undefeated records, and it was the Pam Pack that made a statement in its 12-0 win over the Rams.
Washington won behind a 7-strikeout, 1-hit performance by pitcher Abbi Tucker. The game ended after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“It wasn’t the weather. We just weren’t ready to play today,” Greene coach Kim Jones said. “We’ve missed days because of the weather lately. We’re starting conference play earlier. We’ve only played three games. We’ve had some major injuries. We were just not ready to play. We fell apart early and we never got it back.”
Washington scored 2 runs in the first inning and added 2 more in the third.
“This was a miserable day weather wise, but we scored early and that gave us the boost we needed,” Washington coach Dough Whitehead said. “We’ve scored a lot of runs early in our games and that seems to be the key for us. It gives the girls confidence when they take the field and lets Abbi know that she can go out there and not have to worry.”
Washington took advantage of the winds and jumped ahead to an early lead in the first. After a single up the middle put a runner on base, Grace Lassiter hit a fly ball to right field that got some help from the wind. The winds blew the ball just out of the reach of the outfielder and Lassiter stormed into third with an RBI-triple. She scored on a groundball that was misplayed to give the Lady Pam Pack a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Pam Pack would strike again in the third. With runners on first and second, a wild pitch was thrown that allowed the runners to advance. A throw to third went wide allowing a run to score. Two batters later, Haylee Simpkins hit a grounder that slipped through the infield, allowing Lassiter to score.
Washington added to its lead in the fourth. Emme Davis drove Summer Campbell in from third after a leadoff double. After a botched double play attempt, Kaylee Elks hit a two run double to clear the bases. A single would bring Elks home. Mariah Gurkin hit a triple to bring in another run.
The Rams would try to make some noise in the bottom of the fourth. Daily Keel led off with a hit that was misplayed and advanced to second on the error. Hannah Burress snuck a grounder through the infield to collect Greene’s first hit, but Keel was tagged out trying to score. Tucker was able to strike out the next two batters to end the threat.
Lassiter struck again in the fifth. With two on and one out, she hit a grounder to right field that was misplayed. Lassiter reached third as she emptied the bases. She would come home on a single by Davis.