Lady Raiders down South Warren, move to 22-0

Another game, another win for the Warren East softball team.

The Lady Raiders — who are now 22-0 on the season — added another victory to their impressive 2019 resume on Tuesday evening with a 5-1 win over rival South Warren at Phil Burkeen Field.

Warren East trailed 1-0 — its first deficit of the year — after a half inning of play but quickly regrouped and scored two runs in the bottom of the first to jump in front and didn’t look back.

“We looked up at the scoreboard and we don’t have the highest score on the scoreboard,” Warren East coach Philip McKinney said. “Very proud of our girls the way they came in and got on base. I was very proud of the girls for how they came in, even down one, and started swinging the bats.”

Finishing with 11 hits as a team, four different Lady Raiders recorded multi-hit performances while eight total players each tallied at least one hit. Olivia Price led the way with a 2-for-3, 2 RBI showing, while Kelsey Sparks went 2-for-4 and Katie Gardner earned a solo home run.

In addition to Gardner’s blast, she started on the mound and tossed 12 strikeouts with just four hits, two walks and a run in a complete-game fashion. The win moved Gardner — a Tennessee-Martin signee — to a perfect 18-0 on the season.

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“To get this win is a very big deal,” Gardner said. “We had to just keep fighting until the end. At first, my changeup wasn’t really working so we stuck with my rise. Then I threw a few backdoors and some curveballs outside.”

Lexi Isable recorded South Warren’s lone run with a solo shot in the top of the first inning. Alongside her, Caroline Pitcock, Elizabeth Spencer and Madison Stumbo each recorded one hit apiece.

Emily Reynolds started on the mound for the Spartans (14-10), allowing eight hits and four runs but no walks in four innings of work. Selynna Metcalfe closed for SWHS and gave up three hits and a run.

Warren East returns to action Wednesday as it hosts Bowling Green at 5:30 p.m. for Senior Night. South Warren will also be back on the field Wednesday, welcoming Warren Central to SWHS for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch.

Tyler Mansfield@ByMansfield

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