By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Taylor Apple fired a no-hitter, Kara Alday knocked in four runs, and Payton Rainey scored three runs in Western Alamance’s 14-0 softball clobbering of visiting Croatan that lasted just 4½ innings in the first round of the Class 3-A state playoffs Tuesday night.
The Warriors were ready for the next phase of the season.
“It does make it more exciting,” said Alday, a junior first baseman.
Third-seeded Western (17-3) scored four runs in the first, seven in the second and three in the third.
“Just coming out and playing Warrior ball,” Western coach Scott Bell said. “If we do that, we’re going to be in every ball game.”
Apple struck out 13 and allowed only one batter from No. 30 seed Croatan (3-12) to reach base. That came on an error.
“We focused on not trying to do too much and knowing what we can do,” Alday said.
Western welcomes No. 19 seed West Carteret, which topped No. 14 seed Orange 4-1, for Friday night’s second round.
- Molly Lawson and Taylor Byrd homered and Delani Straughan drove in five runs as defending Class 3-A state champion Eastern Alamance defeated Pikeville Aycock 17-3 in the first round.
The No. 15 seed Eagles (13-8) next visits second-seeded Scotland County, which beat Wilson Hunt 11-1.
Lawson and Olivia Foster both had three hits, and McKenzie Blevins scored three runs for Eastern. Aryanna Parker pitched a complete game in the 4½-inning romp. No. 18 seed Pikeville Aycock (14-8) trailed 10-0 after three innings.
At Mt. Hermon, second-seeded Southern Alamance defeated fellow DAC-VII Conference member Durham Riverside, the No. 31 seed, for the fourth time this season, securing a 13-0 victory in the first round. Southern outscored Riverside (13-8) by a combined 59-1 in those four games, including a 12-0 victory last Friday in the league tournament championship.
Next for the Patriots (21-3) will be No. 15 seed Topsail, an 8-1 winner against Apex Friendship, on Friday night at home.
At Warrenton, sixth-seeded Warren County ripped visiting River Mill, the No. 27 seed, by 20-0. The Jaguars finished with a 6-11 record, while Warren County moved on at 18-3.