West Stanly softball demolishes West Caldwell, moves on to third round

Published 3:13 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

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For the second straight time, the West Stanly softball team needed just five innings to advance in the 2024 NCHSAA 2A state playoffs.

The Colts, the No. 8 seed in the West Region, hosted No. 24 West Caldwell, and easily advanced to Monday’s third round with a 12-0 win in five innings.

Lilly Hartsell threw five scoreless innings on 65 pitches, with no walks and 11 strikeouts, allowing just three hits to earn the win for West Stanly (19-9).

Kennedy Austin had a big night for West Stanly. The Colts shortstop was 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs. Hartsell helped her own cause with two RBIs, while her battery mate, Reese Hager, was 2-for-2 and drove in two runs. Center fielder Aliyah Rush was also 2-for-2 and drove in a pair of runs for West Stanly.

The Colts will be on the road at 7 p.m. Monday, taking on the undefeated top seed in the 2A West, the 20-0 West Wilkes Blackhawks. West Wilkes shut out No. 17 East Rutherford, 5-0, in Friday’s second-round game.

West Stanly and West Wilkes met last season in the 2A Western Regional Series. West Stanly swept the Blackhawks in two games en route to the school’s fourth consecutive state championship.

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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