The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

May 16, 2014

YVC West Softball Tournament Notebook

North Stanly wins tourney title over South Stanly

Sunday, May 11, 2014 — The final rounds of the Yadkin Valley Conference West softball tournament championship were hosted by the No. 3 seed, the South Stanly Rebel Bulls, who made a run to the tourney finals only to meet a North Stanly squad that the Bulls had lost to twice in the regular season.

Thursday’s Game

N. Stanly 4, S. Stanly 3

The Rebel Bulls took to the team’s home field as the lowerseeded visitors, needing a win to claim the YVC West tournament championship, which would also have moved South up to the No. 2 seed from the conference in the state 1A playoffs next week.

North Stanly, playing in its first season in the 1A and the new YVC West, rallied twice to tie the game then took a late lead and earned a 4-3 win over South Stanly.

Freshman Samantha Hogan earned the win for the Comets

(15-3), allowing no earned runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Courtney Smith took the loss for South Stanly (12-12) allowing one earned run on five hits.

Errors played a big role in the story of the game as only one of the game’s seven combined runs was earned with both teams committing four errors each.

South took a 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Haley Carpenter reached on an error and advanced to second on the play, then later stole home on a double steal with Chelsey Culp, who walked and made it to third on an error. Culp then scored on a wild pitch for a two-run lead for the Bulls.

North answered in the bottom of the first with two runs. Weslyn Almond and Keri Faulkner both got on base with singles, then Almond scored on a wild pitch and Faulkner scored on an RBI groundout from Hogan.

The Bulls retook the lead in the second when Kayla Smith reached on a bunt single and later scored on a

throwing error.

Leah Russell reached on an error for North in the bottom of the second and later scored on an Almond RBI

single to again tie the game 3-3.

With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth, South Stanly third baseman Kayla Smith was carried off the field with an apparent knee injury after sliding to try and catch a foul ball. Bulls head coach David Poplin rearranged the defensive lineup and returned Courtney Smith back to the mound after Sarah Bennett had taken the mound to start the inning.

North took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Hogan tripled and a courtesy runner, Kennedy Blalock, scored when Alexa Sells reached first on an error.

South threatened in the sixth inning with two hits to start the inning, eventually loading the bases with two

out, but could not score.

The Bulls again tried to rally in the seventh, with Murphy’s bunt single to start the inning. The next batter

grounded out to the pitcher and Murphy was thrown out trying to get to third base. With two outs, Haley Carpenter reached on an error and Thomas singled, but the next batter grounded out to third to end the game.

“Both teams played tight and made mistakes early,” North head coach Greg Speight said.

“We really have not had games like this and it was good for us. We just kept battling and made plays.”

Fesperman said that winning the regular-season and tournament titles felt good.

“This is the first time we have been this close since I have been in high school,” Fesperman said.

“I feel like we are a family,” Hogan said.

“I could not have done it without the eight behind me. We win and lose as a team.”

SS 210 000 0 3 6 4

NS 210 010 x 4 5 4

WP – Samantha Hogan (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 hits, 2 BB, 4 K)

LP – Courtney Smith (5 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 2 K)

Hitters: SS – Kayla Smith 1-2; Sarah Bennett 1-4; Courtney

Smith 1-3; AShelyn Murphy 1-2; Sara-Beth Thomas

2-4. NS – Weslyn Almond 2-3, RBI; Keri Faulkner 1-3;

Samantha Hogan 1-3, 3B, RBI; Abby Fesperman 1-2.

Wednesday’s Games

South Stanly 5, Gray Stone 1

More than just a trip to the YVC West tournament finals was on the line in the semifinal matchup between No. 3 South Stanly and No. 2 Gray Stone. Whichever team won on Wednesday could earn the No. 2

seed in the state 1A playoffs and a home game in the first round, while the losing team would have to open the state tournament on the road. Playing as the visiting team on its home field, South

Stanly jumped out to an early lead and scored in four consecutive innings, earning a 5-1 win over Gray Stone.

Courtney Smith pitched five innings and earned the win for South. Sarah Bennett relieved Smith in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

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