Somewhere in her room, Halifax County softball senior Jadyn Harlow has several jars full of baseball’s and softball’s, mementoes of the home runs she’s hit over her career.
Harlow added to that total against Bassett Wednesday night.
The Brevard College commit smacked a pair of home runs and drove in three runs in Halifax’s 16-0 win over the Bengals in five innings of district play.
Always humble, Harlow credited her performance to some encouraging words offered to her by one of her teammates following the Comets’ win over Patrick County last night.
“I was feeling kind of defeated because the past few games I haven’t been hitting all that well but after last night’s game, a teammate came up to me and said, ‘we’re going to have a better hitting game tomorrow,’” Harlow recalled. “That kind of lit a fire under me and motivated me to be better. My teammate really motivated me to do what I needed to do today.”
Harlow wasted no time getting in the home run column, knocking her first – a two-run blast to left – in the bottom of the first to give Halifax a 2-0 lead. Her second blast – a solo shot to left – came during her next at-bat in the second and made it a 9-0 contest.
Harlow wasn’t the only Comet to go yard, though, as junior Abby Duffer sent a line drive over the fence in left for a grand slam in the second inning that gave Halifax a 16-run cushion.
Coaches always preach to their players about the importance of staying in the game mentally no matter how far in front or behind, and Duffer served as a perfect example of this mentality.
“I was just looking for a base hit, I didn’t even know it was a grand slam,” Duffer said laughing. “I was just looking for a base hit to score some runs.”
Duffer paced Halifax (13-3, 5-0 Piedmont) with four RBIs while Harlow finished right on her heels with three.
“It feels really good to help the team and I think we’re getting to where we need to be to make a deep run into the postseason and still be playing into June,” Harlow said of her performance.
Duffer added, “It feels great. I’m glad we all hit well and played the field well and like she said, I think we’re where we need to be at to make a deep run into the postseason.”
Junior Emma Payne started the game for the Comets in the circle and helped her cause with a 2-for-2, two-RBI performance at the plate. Senior Kamyria Woody-Giggetts drove in a run for Halifax while freshman Hannah Abbott and sophomore Avarie Bowen drove in a run each. Harlow led the way with three hits while Payne finished right behind.
Sophomore Olivia Seamster, who drove in a team-high five RBIs in the Comets’ win over Dan River Monday night, collected a hit.
“It’s good, I’ve been struggling a lot lately but mainly thanks go to my teammates and coaches and parents, and especially [Abby] for always building me back up when I’m down,” Seamster said.
The Comets blew open a two-run game with a 14-run second frame against Bassett (10-5, 5-3) who was without several of its key players. Sophomore Lexi Swillie started the scoring when she came home on a wild pitch and Seamster came home seconds later courtesy of another wild pitch to give Halifax a four-run advantage. Woody-Giggetts kept things rolling with her RBI single to right and Payne made it a six-run game with her run-scoring single to right. An error on Duffer’s ground ball brought Payne home and Duffer came around seconds later on a wild pitch to make it 9-0.
Abbott earned an RBI the hard way when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Bowen pushed the Comets’ advantage to 11 with her single to right that plated Swillie. Payne kept the train rolling with a bases-loaded walk and Duffer’s grand slam capped the big inning.
Halifax gets little rest as it resumes Piedmont play with a road match against the Bengals tomorrow at 5 p.m.