Raiders cruise to 24-3 win over Vikings

Apr. 03, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

Southern Vance wanted to make a statement after being swept by crosstown rival Northern last season.

The Raiders did just that at home Tuesday, slapping an exclamation point on it in the process with a 24-3 win over the Vikings in two and a half innings.

“I think they wanted to make a statement,” said Southern head coach Leann Harrell. “And I think they made a great statement today — that we’re ready this year.”

Southern sent 35 batters to the plate in two innings, racking up 15 hits. Six Raiders had multiple hits and Kiyanna Kearney and Kaylan Hoyle led the team with three hits each.

“We beat ourselves last year,” Harrell said. “It was good to come back this year and basically, give our pitcher some confidence.”

Hoyle, the pitcher, allowed four hits and struck out seven as the Raiders improved to 7-3 overall in their conference opener. Northern, without a win on the season, dropped to 0-2 in league play.

Northern scored all three of its runs in the top of the third inning.

“It’s kind of like our game against Webb,” said Northern coach Brittany Robinson. “Our offense at the beginning, we had a plan coming in. We didn’t really stick to that plan in the first inning when the top of our lineup came up. But the last inning when the top of the lineup came up, they figured out they needed to go with the plan and got things done that way.”

Five Northern fielding errors led directly to Raider baserunners. The Vikings walked eight batters on the game.

“I think that was something that was hurting us a lot at the beginning of the season,” Robinson said of walks. “I’d much rather it be that the other team is earning their runs rather than us giving it to them.”

Southern earned most of them in the first half of the opening inning. Hoyle broke it open with an inside-the-park grand slam to make it 9-0.

The Raiders went 2-1 at the Greenville Conley Easter Tournament, recording wins over New Bern and Southwest Edgecombe and a loss to Havelock.

“We’ve still got a couple of things in the field to work out,” said Harrell. “We’re still kind of a young team — we still make errors, so there’s always room for improvement for our team.”

Next up for Southern is conference rival Orange Tuesday. Harrell said beating the Panthers will be a challenge.

“They’ve got some really good players and they always can hit the ball,” said Harrell. “They’re not a team to ever doubt.”

Northern is away at Warren County Friday.

LEADING HITTERS

NORTHERN — Katie McAllister 2-for-2, Mel’leah Robinson 1-for-2, Annika Allicardi 1-for-2

SOUTHERN — Kiyanna Kearney 3-for-4, Kaylan Hoyle 3-for-4, Brittany West 2-for-4, Megan Hight 2-for-3, Bree Simmons 2-for-2, Mikayla Sellers 2-for-2, Alicia Shearin 1-for-4

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.