Southwestern Randolph won a pair of games on Friday to advance to the championship game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A softball championships at Walnut Creek Softball Complex.
Southwestern, now 29-1, beat two-time defending champion Kings Mountain 2-1 in nine innings in its opener and then shut out Greenville D.H. Conley 4-0 in the winner¹s bracket final to move into the championship game of the double-elimination event.
Southwestern Randolph will face the survivor of a Saturday morning loser¹s bracket final between Conley and Kings Mountain for the title. If a team from the loser¹s bracket wins that one, a decisive game will follow at 4 p.m.
Sophomore Anna Maness got the pitching victory for Southwestern against Kings Mountain, fanning 12 and yielding five hits. Morgan Childers was the losing pitcher despite 16 strikeouts.
Catcher Brittany York had a couple of spectacular defensive plays for the victorious Lady Cougars, including picking a pair of runners off first base, one of which was the final out of the game in the ninth.
Behind a route-going performance by Brittany Marsh on the mound, Southwestern blanked Conley 4-0, rallying for four runs in the sixth.
Ashley Seawell¹s double keyed the rally for the winners. Suzanne Riggs got the loss for Conley.
Conley had opened play with a 1-0 nine-inning victory over Harnett Central, with a double by Breanna Andrews in the ninth plating the
only run of the game.
Kings Mountain then eliminated Harnett Central 2-0 as Childers fired a three-hit shutout and fanned 12. The Mountaineers got two hits from Chasiti Falls while Toni Ann Williford had two hits for Harnett, which ended its season at 29-3.
Greenville D.H. Conley 1, Harnett Central 0 (9 innings)
Southwestern Randolph 2, Kings Mountain 1 (9 innings)
WINNER¹S BRACKET FINAL
Southwestern Randolph 4, D.H. Conley 0
Kings Mountain 2, Harnett Central 0
LOSER¹S BRACKET FINAL
D.H. Conley (26-3) vs. Kings Mountain (27-3), Saturday at 11 am
Southwestern Randolph (29-1) vs. Conley-Kings Mountain winner, 1:30 pm