Four Stanly softball teams notch state playoff berth

Four Stanly County softball teams had their first-round state playoff action on Tuesday after the N.C. High School Athletic Association released the state playoff brackets on Monday afternoon.

West Stanly (2A West region), South Stanly (1A West region), North Stanly (2A West region) and Gray Stone (1A West region) each received a bid for the NCHSAA playoffs.

The second round is slated for Friday, while the best-of-three regional finals series are scheduled for May 21-25 and the best-of-three state championships series are set for May 31-June 1.

West Stanly 6, Piedmont 1

This past Friday, the West Stanly Colts (18-9, 10-2 Rocky River Conference) defeated the Piedmont Panthers (18-3, 11-1 RRC) in the RRC Tournament championship hosted at CATA.

It marked a monumental win for West, who found itself as the runner-up to Piedmont in the regular-season conference standings.

The Colts’ postseason continued on Tuesday as they hosted No. 25 East Davidson Golden Eagles (14-8, 11-2 Central Carolina) as a No. 8 seed in the state playoffs.

West pulled out a 12-0 win over the Eagles and is now set to host No. 24 West Caldwell on Friday. 

South Stanly 4, Union Academy 3

After landing in third place in the Yadkin Valley Conference final standings, the South Stanly Bulls (13-5, 4-4 YVC) hoisted the YVC Tournament trophy on Friday as they took down the Union Academy Cardinals (14-7, 3-5 Yadkin Valley Conference) in the championship matchup.

Selected as a No. 3 seed in the 1A bracket, the Bulls hosted the 30th-seeded Hayesville Yellow Jackets (1-16, 1-11 Smoky Mountain) on Tuesday.

South came away with a 15-0 victory and will host the winner of No. 14 Elkin/No. 19 Cornerstone Charter on Friday.

Union Academy 2, North Stanly 1

This year’s North Stanly Comets (17-3-1, 8-0 Yadkin Valley Conference) finished first in their regular-season conference standings but got tripped up by the Cardinals in the YVC Tournament on May 1.

The second-seeded Comets looked to bounce back on Tuesday as they hosted the No. 31 East Burke Cavaliers (10-14, 4-10 Catawba Valley).

North defeated the Cavaliers 11-1 and will host the winner of No. 15 Bandys/No. 18 Forbush on Friday.

Union Academy 8, Gray Stone 2

Finishing the season winless against YVC opponents, the Gray Stone Knights (5-12, 0-8 Yadkin Valley Conference) lost to the Cardinals on April 29 in the YVC Tournament.

The Knights finished fifth in their conference standings but still managed to make the state playoffs; No. 20 Gray Stone hit the road on Tuesday to face the No. 13 Murphy Bulldogs (13-5, 9-3 Smoky Mountain).

Gray Stone suffered a 2-0 loss to the Bulldogs.