North Stanly softball reaches fourth round with home playoff shutout

Published 3:50 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

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It took a great deal of effort from the North Stanly softball coaching staff to get the field ready Thursday for the Comets’ third-round home game in the 2024 NCHSAA 2A state playoffs.

Two days of solid rain Tuesday and Wednesday forced the postponement of the No. 2-seeded Comets’ game with No. 23 Madison, and led to around 15 hours of work from the Comets’ coaching staff and volunteer efforts from the players’ fathers.

However, the Comets responded and got a dominant performance from the team’s freshman pitching sensation to advance to the fourth round with a 2-0 win.

Sophia Crist was solid for North (19-3-1) in the circle, allowing just two hits for the complete-game shutout with 16 strikeouts.

Coach Phillip Speight said Crist was a pleasure to coach, adding he, “knew she was good coming in as a freshman, but nothing like this. She always wants the ball. With her on the mound, we’ve got a chance in any game.”

Bre’ Speight and Leah Isenhour scored both runs for the Comets in the bottom of the fourth inning. Leah Frick was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Allie Morgan delivered an RBI sacrifice fly as well. Emma Sanders contributed two hits for North as well.

North is now faced with a second game in as many nights as the Comets host No. 3 Maiden (17-4) Friday at 6. The Blue Devils advanced to tonight’s game with a 4-3 win over No. 6 West Stokes.

The winner of Friday’s game will take on either undefeated top seed West Wilkes (21-0), who eliminated the defending champs from West Stanly Monday, or No. 4 Southwestern Randolph (18-6).

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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