MORGANTON — After suffering its first loss of the summer to Hickory Post 48 last week, the Wilkes County Post 31 junior legion softball squad got back into the win column earlier this week with a pair of sweeps, including one of Burke County Post 21 on Tuesday night at Catawba Meadows.
The Flashers scored consistently in their first game — a 10-0 victory — and then followed up with an 11-4 win in the nightcap to improve to 9-1 in North Carolina American Legion Lady Fastpitch action.
Wilkes County also swept Watauga Post 130 in Millers Creek on Monday night.
“We swung the bats like we’re supposed to. This was our style of pitching that we were seeing and the girls hit the ball the way they can,” said Post 31 Head Coach Matt Fletcher.
Both of Tuesday’s games saw Post 31 flex its muscles at the plate and inside the circle.
Lily Proffit supplied a little bit of both in each game but was on point inside the circle in the opener.
Proffit picked up the win in both games. In the opener, she allowed just one hit — a single to Bailey Bryant in the second — and struck out nine as the game was called after four innings due to the mercy rule.
Proffit also pitched two relief innings the second game where she did not allow a hit or run, walked three and struck out four.
She also gave Wilkes a 2-0 lead in the first game with an RBI groundout. Proffit, who finished 1-for-3, added a sharply hit ball down the left field-line for a double in the third inning. She also had another RBI groundout for the Flashers’ final run in the fourth inning.
“She was in the zone. She had a great fastball that just overpowers people — just a great pitcher, great kid,” said Fletcher.
After scoring twice in the opening inning, Post 31 added RBI singles from Lily Robbins, Abby Hatley and Madison Fletcher to push the lead to 5-0. Fletcher and Hatley added two hits apiece.
The Flashers put the game away in the fourth with four more runs — highlighted by an Emily Coffey RBI single and a two-run single from Fisher, who also added two hits in the win.
Post 21 (5-7) looked to strike first in the second game as it loaded the bases in the bottom in the first inning after Bridget Patrick (fielder’s choice), Maddison Powell (single) and Madilynn Taylor (walk) reached base.
Burke County would come away empty as Robbins struck out Mikhayla Lingafelt — her counterpart inside the circle — to leave the bases loaded.
Lingafelt kept the Flashers’ bats at bay for the first two innings, but Post 31 got on the board with flair in the top of the third as Fletcher hit an inside the park home run (one of two in the ball game) to right field.
Fisher plated Kenzie Church with a sacrifice fly and Proffit added an RBI single. Jayden Hutchison gave Wilkes County a 4-0 lead after three innings with an RBI double.
The Flashers pounded out 16 hits in the second game and received significant contributions from their reserves.
Eryn Ferguson provided some pop off the bench with a pair of run-scoring base hits. The rising Central Wilkes eighth grader pushed the lead to 6-0 with a two-run inside the park home run.
Ferguson, who along with Peyton Mastin had two hits off the bench, added a two-run double in the fifth inning. In addition to those two, Lyndsey Brookshire provided a pinch-hit single and scored twice.
“Our bench players are starters on most teams. The biggest struggle for this team is getting everybody in,” said Matt Fletcher. “There’s no weak spots in the lineup — in the field or on the bench — so it’s big to see players come off the bench, in big spots and get big hits.”
Post 21 finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth and cut the deficit to 8-2 with an RBI double from Jasmine Webb.
In addition to Ferguson’s double in the fifth, Zoe Shatley extended the lead to 11-2 with an RBI single. Shatley went 3-for-3 at the plate to pace Post 31 while Kenzie Church finished 2-for-4.
The two teams will meet again on Tuesday at West Wilkes High School in a junior-senior doubleheader. It will also be the regular-season finale for Post 31’s junior legion team. But before then, Post 21 will travel to Boone to face Watauga Post 130 on Monday.
Tuesday’s doubleheader will also serve as Post 31’s second-annual Veterans Night. The ceremony will start at 6 p.m. with first pitch of the doubleheader scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Each veteran will be escorted onto the field by a Post 31 team member and their name, branch of service and years served will be announced. They will also receive free admission to the game along with a free hot dog or barbecue sandwich and drink.
Wilkes County Post 31 picked up a pair of wins against Watauga Post 130 11-0 and 9-0 at West Wilkes High School.
In the first game, the Flashers scored three times in the first inning and then erupted for seven runs in the second inning to lead 10-0.
Post 31 put the game to bed in the bottom of the third inning, courtesy of a solo home run from Hutchison.
Coffey led Wilkes County’s 10-hit attack with three hits and Fisher added two hits.
The Flashers followed up game one with 11 hits in the nightcap and held Post 130 hitless to complete the sweep.
Hutchison and Fisher led Post 31 at the plate with three hits apiece.