Cougars, Trojans Win State Titles.... (2018-06-03 14:17:55)

3A Softball Championship:
Alexander Central stuns Cleveland with three in seventh to force extras and takes series with 6-4 win in 11 innings

GREENSBORO – Alexander Central claimed the school’s sixth fast-pitch state championship as they stormed back from three runs down in the final inning to knock off Cleveland 6-4 in eleven innings.

The Cougars found themselves down 4-1 with two outs in the top of the seventh when they mounted a furious comeback to tie the game and force extra innings. Lanie Goforth drew a two-out walk to get the comeback started, advancing to second on a sharply hit single by Julie Gast to short. That set the stage for Chesney Millsaps to slap an RBI single to center and trim the Rams lead to 4-2. Alexis Walter’s RBI double to right brought home two more runs to tie the game at 4 and push the game to additional frames.

Both teams held each other in check in extra innings until the top of the eleventh when Alexa Rash singled with one out for Alexander Central. She advanced to second and third on a pair of passed balls before Gracie Rhoney brought her home with a sacrifice fly to give Alexander Central a 5-4 lead. The Cougars added some insurance with a Gast RBI single to score Goforth.

Cleveland managed to work a runner into scoring position in the bottom of the eleventh, but the Rams could not get any runs across as Chesney Millsaps shut down any momentum the Rams tried to generate in the extra innings. Millsaps was named the series M.V.P. going the distance in both games. She held the Rams to three hits in game one and 10 hits through 11 innings in game two while striking out eight Cleveland batters. She also went 3 for 6 with a pair of RBI’s in the series final game.


1A Softball Championship:
Alleghany comes from behind to down Louisburg 3-2 in extras and sweep the series

RALEIGH – With their backs to the wall in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans of Alleghany managed to scrape out one run and force extra innings in game two of the 1A Softball State Championship Series. The Trojans managed to push the only run of the extra frames across in the ninth to steal the win 3-2 over Louisburg and sweep the series, two games to none, and claiming the school’s first fast-pitch state championship.

The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Abby Hawks tripled to bring around Haley Rife. Louisburg shot into the lead for the first time in the series as they hung two on the board in the top of the fourth when Chelsea Roberson scored on a fielder’s choice and Abigail Fagan scored on a sacrifice fly by Madi Leonard.

Both starting pitchers cruised from that point until the bottom of the seventh when Alleghany started the inning with a leadoff double by Rife. Hawks followed that double with a sharply hit ground ball, which forced an errant throw up the first baseline, allowing Hawks to reach safely and Rife to score from second to tie the game at 2.

Louisburg threatened in the top of the ninth, pushing Ragan Holloman all the way to third after a leadoff single. Alexandra Evans flew out to center field for the second out and Holloman appeared to score the go-ahead run but was called out on appeal for leaving the bag too early, giving Alleghany the third out of the inning and keeping the score tied at 2.

In the bottom of the ninth Rife slashed a two-out triple to center, giving Alleghany an opportunity to claim the game. Hawks slapped a liner to right, which bounced off the right fielder’s glove and allowed Rife to cross the plate to give Alleghany a 3-2 victory and state championship.

Freshman pitcher Kenzi Lyall threw every inning for Alleghany, and her brilliant performance in the circle earned her series M.V.P. honors. Lyall allowed two earned runs in 16 innings pitched during the series, striking out nine in game two and 13 in game one all while giving up just seven hits and four walks.


4A Softball Championship:
South Caldwell will have to wait one more day to clinch its first softball championship.
The decisive third game of the NCHSAA 4A state title series at N.C. State's Dail Stadium was postponed to Sunday at 2 p.m. after heavy rains moved through the area Saturday afternoon. The Spartans forced the winner-take-all game after sophomore pitcher Anna King threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory earlier Saturday.


South Granville 3, Franklin 2 (South Granville leads, 1-0)

Fuquay-Varina 3, Ardrey Kell 2
Fuquay-Varina 10, Ardrey Kell 6 (Fuquay-Varina wins series, 2-1)

New Hanover 2, Crest 1 (New Hanover wins series, 2-0)

Whiteville 6, Ledford 4
Whiteville 8, Ledford 3 (Whiteville wins series, 2-1)

Murphy 8, West Columbus 5
Murphy 7, West Columbus 5 (Murphy wins series, 2-0)


Texas Tech 10, Louisville 4
Vanderbilt 4, Clemson 3
North Carolina 4, Houston 3
Duke 16, Campbell 8
Florida State 7, Georgia 2
North Carolina State 9, Northeastern 3