WALNUT COVE — Friday night’s win for the North Surry Greyhounds was a little different than any other win, and for two very distinct reasons. The first was that the game had resumed play where they had ended the night before, and two, the game carried the 2017 Western Piedmont Athletic Conference tournament title along with it.
Thursday night’s start of the WPAC championship game against the South Stokes Sauras was called due to rain after two complete innings with the game scoreless. The game was resumed on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Greyhounds held nothing back, bolting through the top of the third inning and logging four runs as soon as play resumed.
Evann Shellnut opened the third inning with a double as she sent her first pitch of the night to right-center field. Drew Beamer followed also with a pop fly which moved Shellnut to third base. Makara Woodbury then reached base by a walk. The Greyhounds had two outs on them when Cora Stanley stepped in the box. Stanley’s line drive single out to left field allowed the first North Surry run to cross home. Madison Bowman loaded the bases as she was also walked. Karlie Marion’s infield single up the middle allowed the Hounds to take a two-run lead. Whitney Hall guided two additional Hounds home with her RBI single to left field.
The Sauras were unable to place any runners on base during their time at the dish in the third inning.
North Surry was silenced in the both the fourth and fifth innings with quick one-two-three outings. In the bottom of the fourth inning for South Stokes, the Sauras collected three hits, but could bring anyone home and left the bases loaded. The fifth inning was also prosperous for the hosts, but they again failed to score despite a hit and a walk.
A ground out and a caught pop fly in the outfield left the Hounds without any addition to their 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Neither squad was able to place any of their respective runners on base in the final sixth and seventh innings, resulting in a North Surry victory. The four runs in what was the first inning of play on Friday, but technically the third of the contest, was enough for the Hounds to win the tournament title and move up to the No. 2 WPAC playoff seed for next week’s 2A state playoffs.
“The way the girls have come together the last few games is amazing,” said North Surry head coach Willie Hodges. “From the beginning of the season when we were getting beat by 10 runs to now, just amazing how close they have become and how strong the team has become in these last few weeks.”
The Western Piedmont Athletic Conference’s All-Conference, All-Tournament and Honorable Mentions were also announced on Friday following the championship game.
Caiti Mickles was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year honor, along with teammate Kayleigh Williams, who received the Offensive Player of the Year, both Forbush Falcons.
WPAC All-Conference members include: Allison Mitchell (Forbush), Gracen Davis (Forbush), Macey Rycroft (Forbush), Mackenzie Parker (West Stokes), Allison Mabe (West Stokes), Ashley Philyaw (West Stokes), Destiny Agee (South Stokes) Katie Manring (South Stokes), Maddie Shore (South Stokes), Hope Hinson (Surry Central), Ema Coe (Surry Central), Savanah Atkins (Surry Central), Makara Woodbury (North Surry), Cidney Fulk (North Surry), and Drew Beamer (North Surry).
Honorable Mentions include: Hannah Woody (West Stokes), Sydney Shelton (West Stokes), Autumn Miller (South Stokes), Claire Via (Surry Central) and Alexis Collins (Forbush).
WPAC All-Tournament selections from the North Surry Championship team are Callie Younger, Cora Stanley and Karlie Marion. Selections from the runners-up of this year’s championship game are Maddie Shore, Katie Manring and Raegan Badgett from South Stokes. Caiti Mickles from Forbush, along with Mackenzie Parker of West Stokes, were named to the 2017 WPAC All-Tournament team. Greyhound Drew Beamer earned the Tournament Most Valuable Player accolade.
The Co-Coaches of the Year award were Jeremy Helton of Forbush, along with Jordan Stevens of West Stokes. The 2017 regular season WPAC Champions were the Forbush Falcons with their unblemished 10-0 mark in league play.