HaleyMcManus (EW)

HALEY McMANUS delivered 15 strikeouts in East Wilkes home opener against Mount Airy on Tuesday evening in Ronda.

Mount Airy’s Sydney Seagraves and East Wilkes’ Haley McManus both shined in the pitcher’s circle in a nonconference matchup in Ronda on Tuesday evening.

Both pitchers went the distance for the seven-inning contest. Both surrendered two hits.

Both teams committed three errors but the Granite Bears, however, were able to capitalize on a Cardinal first-inning error to establish a 1-0 lead that proved to be the victory margin.         

McManus tallied 15 strikeouts and yielded two walks while Seagraves hurled 13 strikeouts and ceded one base on balls.

“Haley (McManus) pitched very well,” said East Wilkes Head Coach Derrick Hill. “But I felt like we lacked any sense of urgency as a team. It was like we expected to get a flurry but we did not do the things that we needed to do to make it happen.”

McManus’ biggest mistake proved to be that she walked Mount Airy’s leadoff hitter, Kenzie Hodges, in the first inning.

With Sophia Stafford in the batter’s box, Hodges attempted to steal second base. Cardinal Catcher Krysta Prevette’s throw eluded Macie Bell at second base, enabling Hodges to advance to third base.

Helping her cause, Seagraves delivered a ground ball to the gap between second and third bases which was fielded by Bell. Bell chose to throw to first base for the force out and Hodges scored on a fielder’s choice.

The Cardinals (1-1) had good prospects of putting something of their own on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, McManus reached first base on a Bear error.

Kaybree Martin stepped to the plate and hammered a shot that hit the bottom of the centerfield fence.  When the infield dust settled, McManus was on third base and Martin was on first.  Seagraves struck out the next Cardinal batter to end the inning and get herself out of the jam.

East Wilkes also had a potential scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third inning. Prevette opened the inning with a bunt single, and with one out she stole second base.

Martin came to the plate with two outs and a wild pitch by Seagraves enabled Prevette to advance to third base. Once again Seagraves worked herself out of the jam by retiring Martin to end the inning.

“We cannot underestimate anyone,” Hill continued.  “Not taking anything away from them because they were good in the circle tonight, but we had some bad at-bats.

“We are young and we will have some growing pains, but we will get better,” stated Hill.  “We just need to approach each game with the right attitude and be prepared to play.”

The Cardinals’ nonconference schedule continued on Thursday with a contest at home against South Caldwell.

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