Special to LTN
LINCOLNTON — The Lady Mustangs softball team of East Lincoln kept their season alive with a 3-1 victory over Lake Norman Charter in the first round of the SPC conference tournament Thursday afternoon at Betty Ross Park.
East Lincoln starter Brittany Miller went the distance allowing four hits along with four strikeouts.
Miller battled with Lake Norman Charter’s Rachel Gebelein through the first three innings to keep the game scorless, but errors killed the Lady Knights in the top of the fourth.
“I knew their pitcher would be tough and we would have to scratch runs out today,” East Lincoln head coach Mike Freeman said.
East Lincoln catcher Taylor Wilson started off the inning with a double and scored after back-to-back throwing errors against Brittany Dove and Maddie Helms. Dove scored on the Helms error and Helms scored on a sacrifice fly from Hailey Meza to score the third run of the inning. All three runs were unearned.
The Lady Knights scored their lone run in the bottom half of the fourth frame after Brittany Buckstad singled in left and scored on a Sarah McIntosh single to right.
Lake Norman Charter’s only other chance came in the fifth when Alex Busch sent a fly ball into right with McIntosh standing on third with only one out. East Lincoln right fielder Rachel Lane made the catch and fired the ball into the infield. After a moment of confusion between both teams, Wilson tagged Mcintosh for the third out of the inning because she failed to tag-up properly from third.
Miller shut down the Lady Knights in the final two innings to secure the victory East Lincoln.
Wilson and Brittany Wayne led the attack for the Lady Mustangs with two hits apiece.
Buckstad had two hits for Lake Norman Charter.
Gebelein took the loss despite not allowing an earned run in seven innings. She allowed five hits and fanned six.
“Overall, I’m proud of my girls today.” Freeman said following the game. “If we bear down and play a couple more real good games on Monday we can come out with a positive season.”