Friday’s State Championship Softball previews
All games at Walnut Creek Park, Raleigh
4A, Alexander Central (33-0) vs. Fayetteville Cape Fear (26-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: Alexander Central has won 23 games by 10 or more runs and beat Cape Fear in the 1979 slow-pitch finals. Cape Fear is led by Haley Cashwell, who set a N.C. record with 22 consecutive hits earlier this season.
3A, Sun Valley (24-5) vs. Pikeville Aycock (21-3), Friday, 7 p.m.: Aycock won the 2012 3A title and makes its eighth final appearance in 15 years. Sun Valley’s Peyton Taylor is 11-0 as a pitcher with an 1.59 ERA. She bats .489 with 36 RBIs.
2A, East Rutherford (25-3) vs. Jordan Matthews (23-4): Both schools hunt their first state title. East is led by Savannah Davis (.452 BA, 36 SB; 10 shutouts pitching).
• Note: All series are best-of-3. Game 1 Friday, 7 p.m.; Game 2, Saturday, 11 a.m. (Game 3 if needed Saturday at 2 p.m.). The 1A final (Whiteville-North Stokes) does not feature teams in the Observer’s coverage area.
Friday’s State Championship Baseball Previews
3A, Piedmont (21-8) vs. Topsail (19-8) at Zebulon Five County Stadium, Friday, 8 p.m: Piedmont won the 2013 2A state championship and looks to win after moving up to 3A behind leading hitters Hunter Jones and Nigel Hester, both seniors. ECU signee Trent Hansley leads Topsail hitting .414 with 8 HRs. He’s 7-4 as a pitcher with a 1.53 ERA and 104 strikeouts. Game 2 is Saturday at 2 p.m., with Game 3, if needed, Saturday at 8.
2A, Bunker Hill (26-5) vs. Midway (25-4) at UNC-Greensboro, Friday, 8 p.m.: Midway was 1A runner-up last season and moves up a class. Colton Chapman (.453, nine HR) leads Bunker Hill. He’s 12-1 as a pitcher with a 1.08 ERA. Game 2 is Saturday at 2 p.m. with Game 3, if needed, Saturday at 8.
• Note: The 4A final (Richmond Senior-West Forsyth) and the 1A final (Whiteville-East Surry) do not feature Observer-area teams.
Gadsden named basketball coach at United Faith Christian
Gary Gadsden has been promoted to boys basketball coach at United Faith. Gadsden had been an assistant under former Charlotte Hornets star Muggsy Bogues. Bogues resigned last month.
Gadsden returns several starters from last season’s state semifinals team, including his son, Ty, a 6-foot-2 point guard generally considered among the state’s top prospects in the class of 2016. Ty Gadsden has several Division I scholarship offers, including from the Charlotte 49ers. He was an Observer All-Mecklenburg pick last season.
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