OAKBORO — In a showdown between interconference and intracounty rivals, the defending 2A state softball champions bested the defending 1A state champions on April 28 as both teams capped off their regular season schedules.
West Stanly (21-1, 10-0 Rocky River Conference) came away with a 3-1 home win over South Stanly (19-3, 12-0 Yadkin Valley Conference) to close out its campaign on a 21-game win streak. The Bulls, meanwhile, will look to get back on track heading into the postseason.
With their latest victory, the Colts finished their season 2-0 against the Bulls; West defeated South 4-2 during the finals of a Spring Break tournament on April 12.
“What a great night! We honored our six seniors, had a great crowd, and got the win against an always tough South Stanly team 3-1,” the Colts posted on their official social media page. “We continue to be extremely proud of these ladies and the way they are playing as a team!”
Both teams clinched their respective conference regular season titles once again and will gear up for their conference tournaments starting on Wednesday. The Colts are scheduled to play Central Academy (7-14, 4-6 RRC) at Anson, and the Bulls will host their YVC tournament with an opening-round opponent to be determined.
The Colts currently sit atop the 2A Western Region rankings (second in the state) while the Bulls are first in the 1A Western Region rankings (12th in the state).
In West’s latest win over South, the team put a run on the board in the second, third and fourth innings and limited the Bulls to just a single run in the seventh inning. Senior Elizabeth Ingles got the Colts on the board early with a solo home run, while senior Lily Huneycutt and junior Lilly Hartsell each recorded RBI bunt singles to build West’s lead.
Huneycutt — a dual-threat star for West — finished the game with nine strikeouts, adding another strong outing to her season’s resume. Heading to the postseason, she is batting .364 and has recorded 17 wins in 19 outings along with a 0.58 ERA.
After the conference tournaments wrap up, the first round of the NCHSAA softball state playoffs will begin on May 9 with championship games scheduled to take place on June 2-3.