Raiders collect wins on the diamond and pitch

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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On Tuesday, Pungo Christian Academy hosted Epiphany School for baseball and soccer. In the soccer game, Katie Baxter scored to break a scoreless tie with 30 seconds remaining in the first half after a perfect pass from Reagan Walker. With the Raiders leading 1 – 0, The Falcons evened things up at 1 – 1 after a miscommunication between PCA keeper Autumn Gibbs and center back Sayla Brown gave the Falcons an open shot. The Raiders and Falcons went to OT as neither team could score. The NCISAA OT rules are two 10 minute halves, golden goal. Each team had good looks to win, including another Baxter penalty shot that was saved, but neither team scored in either OT, sending the game to penalty kicks. Walker and Baxter scored for PCA, while Epiphany scored twice for a 2-2 tie with two shots left. 7th grader Brooklyn Bowes’s shot would be blocked, putting the pressure on Gibbs to keep the score tied. Gibbs would deliver and save the shot to keep things even. Brown gave the Raiders the lead with a left-foot shot to the back right corner to give the Raiders a 3 – 2 advantage. Gibbs saved the final Falcons shot for the Raiders their second victory this season.

The baseball game did not require a dramatic finish, as the Raiders rolled to a 12 – 1 victory. Bo Spencer led the way at the plate with three hits and an RBI. Austin Garrish picked up two hits while. Conner Sweet, Wells Eagles, Carr Eagles, Holden Williams and Evan Woolard all picked up a hit for PCA. Spencer earned the win, giving up a run on two hits with three strikeouts in four innings. Jackson Walker pitched a scoreless final inning.

Thursday was a busy day for the Raiders as all three varsity teams were in action. The softball team hosted John Paul II in their lone contest of the week due to weather. Emma Hanna and Reagan Stoop had two hits and a triple while Ginny Pugh and Ella Kate Hanna added two singles in an 8 – 1 win. Melanie Rutledge and Ashley Williford each added a hit for the Raiders who pushed their winning streak to 3 games after falling to Halifax Academy in the season opener. Stoop had a career day on the mound, striking out 18 Saints and recording all 21 outs in the game.

The soccer team also hosted John Paull II in a rematch of their season opening defeat. The Raiders struck first with a Katie Baxter goal, the first the Saints had allowed this season. JPII answered with a free kick goal just before the half to even things up at 1 – 1. The Saints pulled away in the second, with two goals for a 3-1 win.

The baseball team traveled to Wilson Christian. The two teams battled back and forth as neither team could hold the lead. Eventually, the Raiders pulled ahead 8 – 7 into the bottom of the 7th. Bo Spencer relieved Evan Woolard after he maxed out his pitch count. Spencer gave up a hit and a walk, but picked up a strike out and a ground out, to make two outs with, runners on second and third. Spencer, facing a full count, sent a fastball right over the plate. The Charger batter sent it to deep left, seeming to think he was going to drive in the winning run. However, Parker Byrd tracked it down and caught the ball to send the Raiders home with their third straight win, 8 – 7.  Spencer and McKinney Waters each had two hits while Jackson Walker and Evan Woolard each hit a double for PCA. Woolard was effective on the mount, scattering eight hits and striking out four across six innings.

Monday, the softball team traveled to Columbia to take on the Wildcats. PCA jumped out to a 15 – 0 lead in to the bottom of the third, when Columbia scored six runs. The Raiders answered with a run in the 4th before ultimately winning 16 – 6. Reagan Stoop threw two shutout innings with five strikeouts. Her sister Anna finished the game and recorded four strikeouts. 12 of the 14 girls on the roster recorded at least one hit in the game.

All teams will be active this week. Baseball hosts TEACH Homeschool and Crossroads Christian on Thursday and Friday while softball will host TEACH and Cape Fear Christian Academy on Thursday and Friday. Soccer opens conference play this week, traveling to Ridgecroft on Tuesday and hosting Lawrence Academy on Thursday.