Sometimes it’s just better to be lucky, or catch a few breaks.
Havelock’s softball team took advantage of a West Craven defensive blunder late in Friday’s Coastal 3A Conference softball game at Havelock High.
The Rams scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat rival West Craven 3-2 on Senior Night.
Leadoff hitter Abby Clark, a senior, popped up to second base to open the eighth inning. Battling a fierce wind, West Craven’s second baseman dropped the ball.
Clark advanced to second on senior Malorie Rowe’s sacrifice bunt. Senior Mercedes Hargett then ripped a sharp single into left field to bring home Clark with the game-winning run.
“This game could have gone anyway tonight,” said Havelock coach Anna Spear. “We were just fortunate that (error) happened. Then, we had a timely hit.”
Clark reached base four times – a triple, two walks and an error. Hargett had a double, single and a walk.
“That’s the reason (Abby) is our leadoff hitter,” Spear said. “Both teams were just trying to make something happen.”
The Rams scored two runs in the bottom of the third. Clark’s triple scored Niesha Nolan. Clark then scored on Rowe’s groundout.
West Craven answered with a pair of runs to tie the score in the top of the fourth. Courtney Donnell’s single scored Courtney Pierre, and Mariah Harris scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles left two runners on base in the inning.
West Craven stranded two more runners on base in the top of the eighth, opening the door for Havelock to steal the victory.
“I’m proud of our girls for the way they fought back,” said West Craven coach David Fernandez. “They were down 2-0 and they find a way to get back in the game. They’ve been doing that all year.”
Hargett pitched eight innings for the Rams. She struck out seven and gave up four hits. She also walked five.
Harris tossed another complete game for West Craven. She allowed three runs on four hits, while walking four.
Donnell had two hits. Rendi Wetheringon and Harris had the Eagles’ other hits. They stranded eight runners on base.
Havelock (5-7 Coastal) has make-up games against Jacksonville and West Carteret next week. West Craven (6-7 Coastal) plays White Oak.
West Craven is currently in fourth place in the standings and Havelock is fifth. The top five teams qualify for the playoffs.