Three Observer-area teams will play in deciding games in their state softball championship series Sunday.
South Caldwell (4A), Central Cabarrus (3A) and West Stanly (2A) will play in their respective championship games. Each is the final game of a best-of-3 series.
South Caldwell forces Game 3 in 4A
RALEIGH, NC – South Caldwell managed a come-from-behind win in Game 2 against Wilmington Hoggard to force a decisive Game 3 Sunday. The winning shot was a walk-off single by Addison Blair in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Spartans a 3-2 win.
Game 3 will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. at N.C. State.
South Caldwell opened the scoring with a single tally in the third when Jasmine Hall homered to left with one out in the fourth to put them up 1-0. Hoggard responded immediately in the top of the fourth with Isabella Colbert leading the inning off with an infield single, moving to second on a two-out single by Kira Soodek. Then Icess Tresvik doubled to left to plate both runners and put the Vikings in front 2-1.
The Spartans got even in the bottom of the fourth when Kenley Jackson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. She was sacrificed to second and then scored on an error by the center fielder which tied the game at two.
The two teams held each other scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Ciara Hanson singled to right to open the frame for South Caldwell. Katie Wright successfully sacrificed her to second, and she took third on a wild pitch, setting the table for Blair’s walk-off single.
Central Cabarrus rallies to force 3A Game 3
Central Cabarrus jumped ahead early with two runs in the top of the first in a must-win game to run past Eastern Alamance 5-1 and force Game 3 in the 3A Softball State Championship Series. Riley Tucker and Destiny Thornton were both 3 for 4 at the plate with an RBI each to help push Central Cabarrus to the victory.
Game 3 will be Sunday at 1 p.m. at UNC-Greensboro.
Tucker started for Central Cabarrus, but was relieved by Brantleigh Parrott after just 2.1 innings of work. Tucker only allowed the single run, it was earned, but gave up seven hits in the game. Parrott came in and was nearly flawless for 4.2 innings in relief. Parrott only allowed three hits, while striking out four without a walk.
The Vikings grabbed the first two runs of the game in the top of the first, wasting no time getting on the board. Tucker had a one out single to drive in Lacie Coubal who reached when she was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. Then Thornton singled through the middle to plate Tucker from second and take a 2-0 lead.
Eastern Alamance responded in the bottom half of the inning as opening game star, Kenna Raye Dark, doubled to right to open the frame. Eventually, after a pair of singles, Madelyn Lawson crossed the plate to cut the Viking lead to 2-1.
Central Cabarrus added a pair of runs on a single error in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-1. Then in the top of the sixth, the Vikings plated another run as Coubal singled up the middle to bring Parrott around to score after her two-out double.
Eastern Randolph upsets West Stanly, forces Game 3
Eastern Randolph upset nationally ranked West Stanly in Game 2 of the teams’ best-of-3 series to force Game 3.
Game 3 will be Sunday following the 3A state final between Central Cabarrus and Eastern Alamance. That 3A final begins at 1 p.m.
Eastern Randolph won the crucial game 2 3-0, behind a two-hitter from sophomore pitcher Savannah Beaver. Eastern Randolph got five hits and three earned runs against reigning N.C. Gatorade player of the year, sophomore pitcher Jordan Hatch from West Stsanly. Hatch and Beaver each struck out seven.
-The NCHSAA contributed