South Stanly softball ends Union Academy 10-game win streak

Published 6:38 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The South Stanly softball team hosted Tuesday’s Yadkin Valley Conference matchup versus an undefeated Union Academy squad with first place in the conference on the line.

South entered the game perfect in conference play as the top-ranked team in the 1A West hosting the No. 3-ranked Cardinals. Union Academy had outscored opponents 110-8 in 10 straight wins to open the season, while the Bulls’ only loss came in non-conference play at 4A Hickory Ridge.

Trailing 2-0 early, South fought back for two runs in the third and fourth innings and moved into first in the YVC with a 4-2 win.

Mattie Poulos allowed two earned runs in the first inning but scattered three hits over the final six innings to earn the win for South (8-1, 5-0 YVC).

Grace Hollingsworth, who has signed to play next season with NCAA Div. I program Evansville, took the loss for Union Academy (10-1, 4-1).

Hollingsworth helped her own cause in the top of the first with a two-RBI double, but South rallied to tie in the third. Kassie Swink delivered the first of her three RBIs in the game with a single, then Cassidy Smith’s RBI double tied the game, 2-2.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Swink had a 2-2 count with two runners on base.

“Every time I step up to an at-bat, I try to not let the count affect me. Even if it’s 0-2, I’m still trying to moving the runners,” Swink said.

She laced a line drive over the center fielder’s head, allowing both runners to score to put South up for good.

Swink said scoring with two outs has been a trend for the Bulls as well as last season’s squad which won the 1A state title.

“We are a good team. We try to stay in the game. We know when it’s important,” Swink said.

The South senior added it was important to win the first game at home since the two teams play a home-at-home series this week.

“We wanted to show (the Cardinals) that this was our territory.”

The two teams face off Friday at Union Academy.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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