FAIRLEA, WV- Job number one is complete for the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans after they shutout the Oak Hill Lady Red Devils 8-0 in the Region 3, Section 2 first round on Tuesday, May 2.
With the victory, the stage is set for a showdown on Wednesday night, May 3 when East will host the Woodrow Wilson Lady Flying Eagles who defeated Princeton in the other opener.
Lily Carola was masterful and unhittable on the mound against the Red Devils, who put up a solid fight, but the experience and talent of the Spartans was too much to overcome.
Carola struck out the side in the top of the first which sent the East offense to the plate in the bottom half. A walk to Josi Ervin and a single from Lindsey Black brought up Taylor Boswell, the Spartans’ RBI leader, and she delivered with an RBI single to left field. That made it 1-0 Spartans. Alanis McClary hit a sac fly later in the inning to bring Black home, and East led 2-0 after one.
Just as she did in the first, Carola mowed down three more in a row in the second, as Oak Hill (5-17) was beginning to look shell-shocked in the batter’s box.
But the Spartans (20-4) had no sympathy for their counterparts as their offense got rolling again. Gracie Gumm doubled and later scored on a hard Hailey Ervin grounder that went under the shortstop’s legs for an error. Jo. Ervin then got a sac fly that scored her sister, and after two innings, the Spartans led 4-0.
Carola again struck out the side and put her consecutive strikeout streak to nine, and once again also, the Spartans were ready to get two runs for the third straight inning.
Gumm hit into a fielder’s choice but got an RBI, and Ha. Ervin singled home Olivia Plybon shortly thereafter. That made it 6-0, Spartans, after three completed innings.
Boswell and McClary knocked the last two runs of the game in, and East celebrated the win.
Carola was impressive all night. She finished with a complete game, gave up just two hits and had 14 strikeouts.
Black (2-4, 2 runs) and Boswell (2-4, run, 2 RBIs) led East on offense. McClary and Ha. Ervin also drove in two runs each.
Wednesday will most likely bring round 2 of Jo. Ervin against Beckley star pitcher, Aubrey Smallwood. Round one came back on March 22 in a 2-1 Spartan win as Jo. Ervin had 13 strikeouts in seven innings and Smallwood had 11 Ks in seven innings also.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM at Spartan Field, weather permitting.
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