Carla Harris, special correspondent
It took eight innings for either team to score, but the Latta Lady Panthers tallied four runs in the top of the eighth to shut out the host Byng Lady Pirates 4-0 on Thursday at Bobby Johns Field in Byng.
Latta managed 11 hits in the contest, and six of those came in the eighth inning.
Latta had singles by Taylor Bates, Shelbey Parnacher and Chelsea Alexander to load the bases in the decisive inning. Madison Abney then hit a ball to deep center field for a triple and three RBIs. Maria Priest followed that up with an RBI single to score the fourth run. Jordyn Scott also singled in the inning before Byng recorded three outs.
Both teams had opportunities to score but could never capitalize.
In the bottom of the second, Byng had runners at second and third. Sidney Fuller singled and moved to second on a sacrifice by Rachel Benes. Lauryn Humpers was hit by a pitch, and then a wild pitch moved the runners up. However, winning pitcher Priest recorded a strikeout to end the threat.
In the top of the third, Latta had runners at first and second after a single by Bates and a walk to Parnacher but could not manage to get a run across the plate.
The Lady Pirates had base runners again in the fourth, sixth and seventh but did not score.
It looked as though Latta might plate a run in the seventh as Maebree Abney hit a one-out triple to deep right center. Both of the next two batters flew out, and Abney was stuck on third.
Both the Lady Pirates and the Lady Panthers stranded six base runners in the contest.
“Great pitching kept us in the game. Offensively, we didn’t do what we needed to do. I am very glad to get a win,” said Latta head coach Jimmy Foster.
Priest allowed four hits and struck out 10 in the victory. She was also 2-for-4 at the plate. Parnacher, Scott and Bates also had two hits apiece.
Layna Abbott, Fuller, Tasia Nelson and Tatum Hill had Byng’s four hits.
Latta 4, Byng 0
LATTA 000 000 04 — 4 11 0
BYNG 000 000 00 — 0 4 1
Maria Priest and Maebree Abney. Rachel Benes and Tasia Nelson. WP-Priest. LP-Benes. 3B-Maebree Abney and Madison Abney (L), 2B-Jordyn Scott (L) and Layna Abbott (B). HL-Shelbey Parnacher 2-3, RS; Chelsea Alexander 1-4, RS; Madison Abney 1-4, RS, 3 RBIs; Priest 2-4, RBI; Scott 2-4; Maebree Abney 1-4; Taylor Bates 2-3, RS (L). Abbott 1-3; Sidney Fuller 1-3; Nelson 1-3; Tatum Hill 1-3 (B).