Seniors Shamya Hankins and Jaci Parham smacked a home run apiece and No. 3 Halifax County scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth in its 12-2 rout of No. 6 Western Albemarle in five innings in the Region 4D quarterfinals Thursday evening.
Halifax (17-4) moves on to play Jefferson Forest at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Comets entered the bottom half of the fourth sitting pretty, holding a 6-2 lead over the Warriors. However, the advantage wasn’t enough for Halifax and it all but locked the game with an explosive, six-run fourth inning. Senior Kamyria Woody-Giggetts reached on a bunt single to third to kick things off and proceeded to steal second base before scoring on junior Emma Payne’s triple to centerfield that made it a five-run contest. Junior Abby Duffer kept things moving with her single to center that gave the Comets a six-run lead and Hankins delivered big two batters later, smacking a three-run home run that pushed Halifax’s lead to nine. Parham rounded out the rally, making it a 12-2 game with her solo shot to center.
The offense was plentiful for the Comets against Western Albemarle (14-7) as two players drove in three RBIs and five drove in two runs while five recorded a pair of hits. Duffer and Hankins paced Halifax with three RBIs each while Payne, Parham and senior Jadyn Harlow drove in a pair of runs apiece. Woody-Giggetts, Payne, Duffer, Hankins and Parham recorded a pair of hits each.
Payne was once again masterful in the circle, scattering three hits and two runs – none earned – in five innings thrown.
The Comets wasted little time jumping on the Warriors, putting up a crooked number in the first to take the momentum at home. Woody-Giggetts kicked things off with a bunt single and stole second to move into scoring position before Payne brought her around with a base knock to center for the first run. Payne advanced two bases courtesy of a wild pitch and Harlow brought her home with a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher. Parham rounded out the rally with her RBI single to left that made it 3-0.
It didn’t appear Halifax would add to that tally in the second as Western Albemarle got two outs to get on the verge of getting out of the inning. However, sophomore Avarie Bowen and Payne ripped off a double steal to move to second and third and Duffer brought them around with a double to center that gave the Comets a five-run cushion. Harlow rounded things out with an RBI single that made it 6-0.
The Warriors avoided the goose egg in the third when freshman Ava Hardy smacked an RBI double to center and an error on freshman Mary Kumer’s ground ball plated the second run to make it 6-2. That’s as close as Western Albemarle got, though.
Hardy, freshman Summer Jones and sophomore Jillian Clark all recorded a hit for the Warriors while Hardy drove in a run.
Davin Wilson is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.