Jul. 22—WILMINGTON — Robeson County Post 5 softball coach Jamie Dover said when his team faced a late deficit Wednesday they "squeezed away one pitch at a time."
After trailing by five in the sixth, Post 5 took the lead on a suicide squeeze in the seventh, part of a 10-run outburst over the final two innings to beat Port City Post 545 13-8 in the opening game of the best-of-three Area II championship series at Laney High School.
"They played really well," Dover said. "They kept their heads up, they didn't act down, and we squeezed away one pitch at a time. My girls never let up and I'm proud of them."
Trailing 8-3 three going to the sixth, Post 5 scored five runs in the sixth to tie the game. Then, in the seventh, Jalyn Herndon laid down the perfect bunt on a suicide squeeze to score Gracie Godbold to give Post 5 the lead.
"She does the small things," Dover said of Herndon.
Santana Anderson hit a three-run homer later in the inning — her third of the game — to give Post 5 some breathing room.
Anderson hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run homer in the sixth, and also had an RBI groundout, totaling eight RBIs for the game.
"That's really awesome," Dover said. "She got us off to a good start too ... she hit a two-run bomb in the first inning that got things going for us."
Godbold and Marijo Wilkes also had three hits each and Syniah Lancaster had two for Post 5.
Chan Locklear pitched the first four innings and the seventh; Ava Jacobs pitched the fifth and sixth.
Game 2 of the series will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at Purnell Swett; Post 5 will seek to clinch a berth in the state tournament as it plays the final home game of its first season.