The Raleigh Lady Lions (2-1) won their first home game of the season Thursday evening over the Puckett Lady Wolves (2-2) by a score of 8-4.
This home opener had been a long time coming, having been postponed multiple times due to weather and field conditions. “We’ve had the worst luck when it comes to rain, I’ll tell you that,” joked head coach Adam Case after the contest. But the weather cooperated on Thursday. Spirits were high, and that energy helped spur a late offensive surge by the Lady Lions to pull away and secure the win.
“This is my third year here, and we’ve never gotten to play Puckett,” recalled Case. “Whether it was rain or schedule conflicts, it just hasn’t ever worked out. So it felt good to play somebody pretty local and to finally get to play at home.”
After a locked 2-2 score on the board for several innings, the Lady Lions’ bats got hot in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to take a 5-2 advantage. The Lady Wolves responded with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth, including a rare inside-the-park home run. Unshaken by the comeback attempt, Raleigh continued their offensive surge and posted three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away one last time.
One of several unique chants that could be heard from the Raleigh dugout during the contest was, “Holly, Holly, Holly Lou, show us all what you can do!” This was in reference to sophomore pitcher Holly Craft, who certainly answered the call with a spectacular 12-strikeout performance on the mound. Craft also went 3-for-4 at the plate with one run batted in.
Craft wasn’t the only sophomore with an impressive performance for the Lady Lions. Hayley Revette led the offense in production, hitting 4-for-4 attempts with four RBI and two runs of her own. Junior shortstop Natalie Lillie also had a big night, going 3-for-4 and scoring two runs. The team as a whole batted .448 in the contest with a .515 on base percentage and seven RBI.
Coach Case is very pleased with the energy and excitement his team has brought to the diamond early in the season. “We’re still rocking with the Ric Flair stuff from last year,” said Case, whose team focuses on bringing the emotion and energy of the Nature Boy into every game. “Everybody has their own t-shirt or hashtag, just something we can all get behind.”
Now winners of two in a row, Raleigh will travel to West Harrison to play back-to-back double headers on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s schedule will consist of a 4:00 p.m. contest against Picayune followed by an 8:00 p.m. contest against North Pike.