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Mitchell, Lester lead Salem past Rockdale

Salem softball coach Ronnie Miller thinks Peyton Mitchell is primed for a breakout junior season. If the first two games are any indication, Miller may be on to something.

Mitchell hit a first inning home run for the second consecutive day, setting the tone for the Seminoles in an 8-0 victory in five innings over Rockdale Tuesday.

Salem evened its record at 1-1, while slumping rockdale remained winless at 0-6.

Mitchell went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run in Monday’s loss to Loganville, then ripped a two-run home run to center field, part of a three-run first inning against Rockdale starter Miasia Mayer. Mitchell roped an RBI-double in a three-run second against reliever Sidney Driver, and that was more than enough for Whitney Lester. The senior right-hander retired the first eight batters she faced before Tyzia Roberts reached on a two-out error in the second. Rockdale got its first and only hits of the game when Keishaun Drake blooped an opposite field double and Driver followed with an infield single. Lester got a fielder’s choice and a pop out, then escaped the jam when Kaila Gabaree was called for runner’s interference after striking out and trying to advance to first.

Kennedy Lester got the Salem offense going all night. reaching base three times - a single and two walks - stealing four bases and scoring three runs. Knarhine Bailey added a run-scoring single in the second.

Lester threw just 53 pitches in her abbreviated complete game. In the bottom of the fifth, Mariah Briney singled and went to second on a throwing error by right fielder Doran Johnson. Alexis Chisman’s ground ball was thrown away by shortstop India Davis and Briney raced home to end the game by mercy rule.

Rockdale will try to pick up its first win when it travels to another county rival, Heritage today at 4:30 p.m. Salem hosts Newton Thursday at 5:30 p.m.