The Salem Spartans had their best stretch of the young softball season as they won two games and took one of the area’s best teams to the wire on Tuesday. Salem defeated Patrick Henry and Christiansburg before losing to Carroll County, 2-0.
After starting the season with three losses the Spartans started to show some life last week. On Wednesday at Patrick Henry they took an 8-3 win over the Patriots.
Salem started strong as Alyssa Akers reached on an error in the top of the first, then Liz Warren and Josie Bruner had back-to-back singles to follow Akers. Haellie Gordon drove Warren and Bruner home with a single and Gordon struck out three straight Pats and Salem led 2-0 after one inning.
In the third inning Warren singled again, followed by Bruner reaching on a walk and Gordon with another single. Bases ended up loaded after a Taylor McCaleb single and Sammie Haga stroked an RBI double. Salem never looked back as they scored another four runs to win going away.
Gordon tallied four RBIs and had eight strikeouts on the mound. Lauren Moran had the other RBIs with a double in the 7th.
A day later Salem was back on the bus for a trip to Christiansburg, and the Spartans took an 8-0 win as Gordon shut down the Blue Demons with 12 strikeouts.
Warren homered to left in the third inning to spark a Salem rally and the Spartans never looked back. Moran had an RBI double in the fourth and Gordon doubled in two to close out the game in the sixth.
On Tuesday at the Moyer Complex Salem faced one of the top teams in the area, Carroll County and ace pitcher Sydney Nester. The Spartans lost, 2-0, but the Cavaliers knew they were in a game. Nester struck out a dozen but Gordon was nearly her equal with 13 strikeouts, not allowing a run until the sixth. Nester drove in a run herself in the sixth and Carroll added an unearned run in the seventh. Haga, Gordon and Jenny Battaglia had hits for Salem.
“Even though we lost, that was a real morale booster,” said Salem coach Sarah Beth Walton. “Their coach told me that was the closest game they had all year. They’ve been killing everyone else.”
Now 2-4, Salem hopes to get back on the winning side Friday with a home game against Blacksburg, and Tuesday the Spartans host Cave Spring.