Maybe Columbus County Debs coach Steven Suggs can get the grounds crew to turn on the sprinklers the next time his team plays. His team won the final game of the North Carolina tournament in the rain and opened World Series play Saturday with an 11-6 win over Virginia in a contest that it rained throughout.
Columbus County exploded for a 7-0 lead after two innings. Virginia managed to reduce the lead to 8-5 after the top of the fourth, but Columbus County scored thrice in the bottom of the fourth to open an 11-6 margin that turned out to be the final score.
With one out in the first, Morgan Nye reached when hit by a pitch. An error on Alex Chestnutt’s two-out grounder kept the inning alive. Lindsey Jones and Alexis Suggs walked in front of a Kelsey Carroll double to give Columbus County a 3-0 lead. Lauren Smith and Callie Sumner singled in the Columbus second. Another two-out error gave Hailey Sarvis an at bat. Sarvis answered opportunity’s knock with a knock of her own, blasting a homer to left, giving Columbus a 7-0 lead.
Virginia used three hits and an error to close to 7-3 in the top of the third. Lindsey Jones walked and scored to give Columbus County an 8-3 lead after three complete.
Virginia’s Caroline Seal connected for a two-run homer in the fourth cutting Columbus County’s lead to 8-5. Columbus catcher Kelsey Carroll’s pick off of a runner on first helped limit the damage.
Columbus County started its fourth with five consecutive hits to stretch the lead back to six runs. Amanda Watts, Lauren Smith, Paige Gore, Callie Sumner and Morgan Nye each contributed base hits to push the lead to 11-6.
Columbus County’s Lauren Smith retired 10 of the final 11 batters. Columbus County went quietly in its last two frames for an 11-6 final.
Alexis Suggs occupied the circle for Columbus County for the initial three innings. Suggs allowed three runs, three hits, struck out three and walked one. Smith pitched the final four frames. She allowed two runs, two hits, struck out three, walked two and hit a batter.
Lauren Smith was 2 for 2 with two runs scored. Callie Sumner also had two hits. Morgan Nye had a hit and scored twice. Sarvis homered, Carroll doubled, Watts and Gore singled for the remainder of Columbus County’s nine hits.
Columbus County plays the winner of Alabama and the host Alexandria, LA team Sunday at noon EDT.