Cardinals softball region champs againPublished 4:48pm Friday, April 20, 2012
To say the Landrum softball team has been dominant in Region II-1A may be an understatement.
The Lady Cardinals have won six straight region championships. Since Tucker Hamrick took over the team four years ago, Landrum has been 42-1 in region play.
That dominance continued on Thursday night, April 19. The Lady Cardinals beat Blacksburg 14-4 to earn their sixth consecutive region title.
Landrum was sparked by senior pitcher Jordan Farmer just days after she was hit in the head with a softball against Chapman.
In that game on Monday, April 16, Farmer and first baseman Meagan Painter were both charging home plate for a bunt that a Lady Panther had popped up. The ball hit Painter’s glove, bounced to the side and hit Farmer just above her right eye.
The senior pitcher didn’t return in that game because of headaches and dizziness.
Farmer did, however, return to the mound in Landrum’s most important game of the season April 19. Farmer pitched six innings, struck out eight batters, hit a homer and led the Lady Cardinals to the victory.
“I came out here a little nervous that the headaches would come back, but my team was behind me,” Farmer said.
That cohesiveness has been the continued theme for the Lady Cardinals (14-4, 11-0) this season.
“This year we have really pulled together,” Farmer said. “That wins ballgames sometimes.”
The Lady Wildcats (14-4-1, 10-2) struck first in the first inning. Lacie Mullinax drove in Brooke Hope in Blacksburg’s first two at bats. Abby Pruitt singled later in the inning to drive in Mullinax.
Landrum, however, answered in the bottom of the first. Lauren Pitts doubled and scored on a Farmer single. Bre Cuff followed with a single and Shelby Morris singled to drive in Cuff and Farmer.
Blacksburg added a run in the fourth and fifth innings, but it was all Landrum from that point on. Landrum added two runs in the second inning, three runs in the fourth inning and six runs in the sixth inning.
In the sixth, Farmer hit a leadoff homer. The senior ended the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
Farmer’s homer was followed by a Cuff walk, a Sydnie Brown single and Taylor Jenkins being hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, Skylar Henderson reached base on an error and advanced to second base. Two runs crossed the plate on the error.
Savanna LaChica followed with a bases-clearing triple. Taylor Wahler drove in LaChica on a double to end the game.
Dating back to the final two losses of the season last year, five of Landrum’s six losses have come from unearned runs. The only exception was April 16 when Farmer was knocked out of the game against Chapman, Hamrick said.
That’s something on Landrum’s mind as the team moves forward.
“I think as long as we worry about us and not anyone else, we’ll do well (going forward),” Hamrick said. “It’s about defense, defense, defense.”