Richmond Hill avenged a season-opening loss from last year at Bacon County by defeating the Raiders 6-2 at home Monday night.
The Wildcats, region champs last year who advanced to the AAAAA Sweet 16, lost five seniors, four of whom are now on college rosters.
“They were a huge reason for our success, but we also have six players returning with varsity experience,” Coach Angie Hummeldorf said. “We just need a little time to gel.”
Starting pitcher Alaina Lucas gave up a run in the top of the first inning on two walks, a stolen base and a fielder’s choice, but settled down after that while the Wildcat offense went to work.
“We have four new pitchers and they’re learning how to get ahead in the count,” Hummeldorf said. “Offense right now is our strength.”
That strength was on display in the bottom of the second inning as the Wildcats took a 3-1 lead.
Hannah Fitzgerald started it off with a shot to centerfield, and pinch runner Maggie Hunter advanced on a walk by Sarah Grace Cowart. Katie Snyder loaded the based with a blooper to short left field and MacKenzie White’s sacrifice fly scored Hunter to tie the game. Fielder’s choice putouts by Chenzie Schuman and Haley Taylor scored Cowart and Snyder, respectively, for a 3-1 lead.
Snyder singled in the bottom of the fourth and Schuman hit a two-out home run to put Richmond Hill up 5-1.
Bacon County added its second run in the top of the sixth off reliever Darrien Christian, but Fitzgerald went yard in the bottom of the sixth for the Wildcats’ final run.
“We had a little bit of everything on offense,” Hummeldorf said. “Good base running, some power. It was a real team effort.”
Richmond Hill starts a stretch of eight consecutive away games at South Effingham at 6 p.m. The next home game for the Wildcats is against Bradwell Institute at 6 p.m. Aug. 23.