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SOFTBALL: Southern’s comeback yields top league spot; Eastern wins tight games

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Southern Alamance’s softball team had quite a comeback to gain a share of the Central 3-A Conference championship.

The Patriots kept that going in the state playoffs.

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In the Class 3-A first round, Maycee Tickle scored four runs and Abagail Holt and Sydney Crawford both scored three times in Southern’s 18-3, four-inning romp past No. 30 seed Franklinton (5-10) in Tuesday night’s lightning-delayed game.

Next, third-seeded Southern (19-4) will be home Friday night against No. 14 seed Union Pines (16-7).

• Friday night at Elon, Southern Alamance never led until the seventh inning, when a six-run rally produced an 11-7 victory against host Western Alamance to end the regular season. The Patriots tied for first place with Eastern Alamance.

Before an out was recorded in the final inning, winning pitcher Rylee Humble drilled a two-run, bases-loaded double to tie the game. The Patriots (10-2 Central 3-A Conference) kept going, with Sydney Williams and Ava Duggins capping the outburst with run-scoring singles.

With Southern trailing 6-3 in the sixth, Duggins had a huge at-bat by fouling off several two-strike pitches before smashing a two-out, two-run home run to center field on a full-count pitch.

Western pitcher Addison Beal snapped a 3-3 tie in the fifth with a two-out, two-run single and teammate Camryn Rodrigues made it 6-3 with a single. Ryan Justice, Lela Kate Baker and Grayson Saul all scored two runs for the Warriors (5-7).

Eastern (10-2 conference) did its part by defeating visiting Orange 4-3 with Delanie Straughan tossing a four-hitter and Taylor Byrd driving in three runs. Orange (9-3) would have shared the crown instead of the Eagles if it had won.

There wasn’t a tiebreaker game held Saturday to determine the top seed from the conference for the state playoffs because of a conflict with Eastern’s prom. That left Southern with the best seed from the league.

  • Eastern Alamance, which holds the No. 15 seed, won 2-1 in 11 innings against No. 18 seed Croatan after a weather delay Tuesday night in Mebane. Straughan struck out 10 in the complete game and Kenley Henderson and Rebecca Alston drove in runs.

Croatan (12-10) scored in the first inning and Eastern pulled even in the fifth.

The Eagles (15-8) go to second-seeded Southern Nash (21-0), which nipped Greenville Rose 6-5 in the first round, for Friday night’s second round.

  • Also in Class 3-A, No. 26 seed Western Alamance, the 2023 state runner-up, dropped a 15-8 decision in a trip to No. 7 seed Dixon.

Western (6-15) scored seven runs in the top of the first inning, but Dixon (20-4) notched five runs in the bottom of the frame en route to scoring in every inning. Rodrigues had three hits and joined Kara Alday and Briles Overton with two runs batted in for the Warriors.

  • In Class 1-A, No. 10 seed Falls Lake (13-8-1) posted a 10-2 victory against No. 23 seed Clover Garden (10-9).

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