Highlander’s Softball Lose Season Opener 4-0 to the Longwood Lancers

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By Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

In the series opener against the Longwood Lancers, the Highlander’s Softball team, unfortunately, were bested 4-0 at home this past Thursday night, April 11, down by the railroad tracks. Radford’s opposing pitcher, Sydney Backstrom, proved to be unstoppable, only allowing two hits across all seven innings.

Radford Vs. the Longwood Lancers

The Highlanders were unable to get anything going offensively against the opposing team’s #99, who has an 11-7 win record on the season, as she struck out 14 consecutive batters in a row. Backstrom was on fire from the circle, leaving our Highlanders scoreless.

The Lancers got on the board first during the first of seven innings when their third baseman Alexis Wayland scored off of a sacrifice fly from teammate and designated player, Jenna Dunn.

Some upside for the Highlanders was the play of Hannah Morris. She relieved Huffman in the seventh inning and allowed two hits but followed up with back to back strikeouts, a season-best for the freshman from Durham, NC.Wayland, who was almost tagged out on her single hit, was allowed a clear path to first when a mishandled ball gave the Highlanders their first error of the night.

During the second inning, in what seemed to be Radford’s closest attempt at getting a score on the board, Talia Douglas and Hannah Medlam both tallied a hit. In back to back at-bats, Medlam smacked a single to left field, and Douglas forced her to be third with a double of her own.

Already with one out during the inning, Maggie Rowe grounded out down the third baseline giving the Lancers offense their second out of the inning. A wild pitch from Backstrom sent the catcher running after a whirling ball which gave Medlam her chance to bolt for home.

Unfortunately, Longwood’s catcher was able to recover just in time to tag Medlam out before she slid into home plate.

That was the last hit the Highlanders were able to collect, which allowed the Lancers to jump further out in front. They added to their 1-0 lead with a two-run homer in the second by their right fielder jumping their lead up to 3-0.

Kayla Huffman, the outstanding pitcher for the Highlanders, then pitched two consecutive shuts out innings but was then duped as the Lancers scored off of a sacrifice bunt that traveled down the first baseline. They scored from this but was courteously brought to the Lancers by a triple play from the previous at-bat.

The score in the fifth inning was now 4-0, and that’s where it would remain until the end of the match-up.

Some upside for the Highlanders was the play of Hannah Morris. She relieved Huffman in the seventh inning and allowed two hits but followed up with back to back strikeouts, a season-best for the freshman from Durham, NC.

Through six innings, Huffman only gave up five hits, four runs, three of which were earned runs, and one strikeout.


The Highlanders Softball team will face the Lancers again in a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 17. The games will be at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

This doubleheader will come following a weekend series played in Spartanburg, SC against the Big South’s best pitching corps in USC Upstate.

Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics – Featured image of Hannah Morris)