Unity flies by Terra Ceia, stays perfect

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CHOCOWINITY — Unity Christian Academy scored bunches of runs in each inning, running away in a 17-1 win over a young, struggling Terra Ceia club. The win in their home finale improves the Lady Warriors to 12-0 as the season comes to an end.

The Lady Warriors go into spring break, then their final game at New Life in Rocky Mount on May 1 with an unblemished record. It’s an unprecedented feat for a program in only its second year of existence.

“Starting the first softball team here last year — we didn’t do bad, but we got pounded, too — this is just unbelievable,” coach Ashley Harris said. “I had no idea how it was going to come together. I had no idea it was going to come together like this. We’ve played some teams that were decent and could have beaten us, but whatever it took, we did it.”

No matter how the final bout goes, Unity has already taken a strong inaugural season and raised the bar to once-unimaginable heights.

“It’s kind of crazy. Really exciting, though,” Macy Main said. Usually the pitcher, Main manned first base for Unity’s penultimate game. “I’m really glad I get to be a part of this team since I don’t go to Unity. It’s incredible for a team that’s not even two years old … For us to come together as a team is amazing. Our connections with each other is probably the best I’ve seen on a softball team, and I’ve been playing for I don’t know how long.”

After setting the visitors down in order in the top, Grace Bumpass and Grace Rose led off the bottom of the first with consecutive hits. Rose scored Bumpass from second with a double to the right-field fence, and the Lady Warriors took a 3-0 lead at the end of the frame.

Carly James tried to evade the tag from Unity third baseman Grace Bumpass.

Terra Ceia responded by loading the bases. Unity pitcher Chloe Boyd escaped the jam unscathed when she struck out the next batter after issuing back-to-back walks to load the bases.

Seven Lady Warrior notched hits in the second as they tacked on another half dozen runs to take a 9-0 lead. Rose highlighted the offensive outburst with a little-league home run — a shot deep to the outfield coupled with throwing errors in the field.

Unity scored four more in the third thanks to RBI knocks from Sophie Davis and Kayleigh Cobb. Emily Buck, Abby Harbrige and Laura Hodges each had a two-out hit to plate runs in the fourth, helping to push Unity’s lead to 17-0.

Terra Ceia didn’t quit. Beth Russ reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, James singled back to the pitcher, and she and Russ moved to second and third base, respectively, on a passed ball. Madison Perry plated the only Lady Knight run of the game with a base hit to centerfield.

“We have to keep our heads up and stay positive. It’s a young team,” Terra Ceia coach Matthew Jordon said. “We just need to work hard, correct our errors and we’ll do great. We stay positive and keep fighting.”