High school softball teams from Sun Valley and East Rutherford won N.C. state championships Saturday in Raleigh.
In 3A, sophomore Brittany Pickett got the state championship-clinching win in a 6-4 decision over Pikeville’s Aycock High. Sun Valley won Friday’s Game 1 6-5, also behind Pickett’s pitching. Pickett was named championship MVP and won her 16th game of the season Saturday, striking out five.
• East Rutherford finished the season 27-4 after Saturday’s 4-2 win over Jordan-Matthews in the N.C. 2A state championship at Walnut Creek Park in extra innings. East Rutherford won Game 1 on Friday 2-1. In Game 2, Jordan-Matthews bounced back for a 4-3 win, rallying from a 3-0 deficit. That win forced Saturday’s deciding Game 3, which East Rutherford won in the ninth.
In the Game 3 win, East Rutherford’s Savannah Davis had two hits, drove in two runs and was the winning pitcher in the 4-2 decision. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. She had 16 strikeouts in the three games. Davis was also the winning pitcher and had two hits in East Rutherford’s 2-1 series-opening win on Friday night.
Davis’ two-out two-run double in the ninth delivered the state title. Just before Davis’ game-winning hit, teammate Raven Gray hit a double after teammate Christian Beheler had walked. Prior to the hit, Gray was 1-for-12 in the championship series.
“That’s what we needed from (Gray),” East Rutherford coach Laura Topper Ray said after her team won its first state title. “She came up and put the ball in play for us. Then Savannah backed her and delivered her double. It was good to see that from both of them.”
Topsail beats Piedmont in 3A baseball
Topsail beat Piedmont 5-4 Saturday in Game 2 of the N.C. 3A state championship series. Topsail won Game 1 on Friday 5-3 and won the state championship series two games to none. On Saturday, Trent Hansley pitched a complete game for Topsail (21-8) which denied Piedmont a repeat state title. Piedmont won the 2A title in 2013.
Hansley, an East Carolina recruit, struck out seven and had a two-run homer. Topsail led 5-1 in the seventh before Piedmont scored three runs in the final inning, keyed by a two-out bases-loaded double by David Nash that cleared the bases, but Hansley got Jack Gamble to fly out to end the game. Aaron Braswell was 4-for-4 for Piedmont.
Correspondent Jay Mumford contributed
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