A tough schedule makes for a tougher team.
That's how Caroline Perkins saw things Thursday night after helping Lafayette to an 8-2 softball victory over visiting Tates Creek.
"We had a lot of good hits. We rallied through," said Perkins, whose RBI triple in the sixth inning helped break open a close game. "We all worked together as a team, and it shows.
"Coming back from spring break, we learned a lot from playing really good teams. And I just think it's going to show in the end."
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The Generals, who went 2-3 on their trip to Fort Walton Beach, Fla., are now 8-7 overall and have won their last four.
"It was a bit of a tough one there," Coach Kevin Stephens said. "We got a couple nice extra hits there, with Perkins getting one, and actually got a little bit of insurance there, so that kind of helped us get that one. We played pretty good defense, though."
In fact, Lafayette turned a pair of double plays in backing up Kecia Stephens' four-hitter.
"My curveball was working pretty well and my changeup," said the sophomore, who is the coach's daughter. "And then my inside fastball was working pretty well."
Kecia Stephens surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Breeann Whitson in the first inning, but didn't allow the Commodores (3-6) a run the rest of the way.
"She kind of struggled there a little bit towards the last inning, made a couple crazy pitches," Kevin Stephens said. "But overall she kept her composure after the first inning and kind of got settled down."
Lafayette matched the two runs in the bottom of the inning with Madison Burke's two-out, two-run single.
Kecia Stephens was impressed by her team in the field, though.
"They definitely played some good defense and backed me up tonight," she said.
The Generals took a 4-2 lead in the second, stringing together two walks and two singles, and aided by a throwing error.
Then they broke things open with a four-run sixth inning.
Perkins delivered a two-out, run-scoring triple, then scored on Katelyn Mitchell's base hit.
Sara Cooley followed with a two-run homer to straightaway center field.
"They're usually pretty resilient, they stay pretty focused and stay calm," Kevin Stephens said of Lafayette's ability to rally. "They've been pretty good all year about coming back and playing hard with a lot of effort."
Tates Creek Coach John Groft left quickly after the game to get to a nearby hospital, where starting pitcher Kenzi Groft was being examined. Kenzi injured her shoulder while swinging at a fifth-inning double-play ball.
Hannah Ross had two of the Commodores' four hits.
Perkins had two of Lafayette's seven hits.
Lafayette 8, Tates Creek 2
Tates Creek 200 000 0—2 4 1
Lafayette 220 004 x—8 7 2
Groft, Garner (5) and Mutters; Stephens and Mitchell. W—Stephens; L—Groft. 3B—Perkins, L. HR—Cooley, L.