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Lady Cats even series 1-1 to force game three

Kaitlyn Mullins

After game one of the 2A state softball championship between top-seeded West Stanly and the fourth-seeded Eastern Randolph Lady Wildcats was rained out on Friday, the two teams met Saturday to try and decide a winner. Eastern Randolph had an outstanding tournament run outscoring their opponents 39-14. The Lady Cats defeated Roanoke Rapids, Farmville Central, Providence Grove, Washington, and South Granville to reach the 2A title series. Before game one, ER’s Aniyah King was one of two players awarded the sportsmanship award by the NCHSAA.

Game one of the championship series was a defensive battle that went into extra innings before the Lady Colts won with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Lady Cats did everything they could to hold the Colts scoreless throughout the first eight innings but they could not capitalize on the offensive end. Despite giving up the winning run, Savannah Beaver had a great game in the circle for the Lady Wildcats. She went the distance giving up just the one run on five hits and struck six batters.

With a few hours to rest and regroup, the Lady Wildcats entered the final game of the day determined to force a deciding game three and they did exactly that. Beaver handled the pitching duties once again for the Lady Cats as they forced game three with a 3-0 shutout win over the Colts. Forcing West Stanly to go in order during the top of the first gave the Cats some much-needed momentum heading into their first at-bat. With two outs on the board in the bottom of the first, Beaver picked up an RBI single to drive Courtnee Carter in for the score.

ER’s defense continued to hold strong keeping the Colts scoreless heading into the bottom of the third. Carter scored her second run of the night this time off a bunt from Brooklyn Rush to put the Lady Cats in front 2-0. After neither team scored in the fourth, Eastern Randolph added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to put pressure on the Colts. Aniyah King scored on a sacrifice fly from Kelsey Craven to give the Cats a 3-0 lead. The Wildcats let their pitcher and their defense handle things the rest of the way. Beaver pitched all seven innings giving up just two hits and striking out seven to earn the shutout win. Craven, Beaver, King, Carter, and Rush each had one hit for the Wildcats.

Eastern Randolph will suit up one more time as they face off against the West Stanly Colts on Sunday at 4 pm in the final game of the 2A state softball championship series at UNCG.

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