RUTHERFORDTON — Three big offensive innings and a complete game three-hitter by R-S Central’s Haley White ousted Surry Central 10-1 in the first round of the 2A NCHSAA softball playoffs on Wednesday night.
Surry Central (9-13) faced a no-hitter through four innings as White’s mix of pitches was doing the job. In the fifth, Taylor Coe’s leadoff single to left was followed by a perfect bunt by Haily Robertson that just died inside the line for the sacrifice to push Coe to second. Natalie Jones roped a single to center, and an infield error at second base on Ema Coe’s shot, scored Taylor Coe for the Lady Golden Eagles’ lone run of the game. Hope Hinson had the only other hit in the sixth, a double to centerfield, but the damage was already done by that time.
R-S Central’s offense came alive in the second frame. Kyonna McEntyre dropped a double into center to lead off, and with two out Madison Crain clobbered a pitch off the left-field fence. Left fielder Taylor Coe bounced off the fence as well and was hurt on the play as Crain came around for a two-run inside the park home run. Coe remained tough and stayed in after a few minutes to walk it off.
The Lady Hilltoppers picked up where they left off in the third as Taylor Stofer started off with a single to left. A wild pitch and a Miranda McGinnis sacrifice bunt moved Stofer to third. Taylor Koon grounded a pitch through the hole into left for an RBI and a 3-0 lead. McEntrye’s RBI base hit down the left-field line plated another to up the score to 4-0 after three innings.
In the fourth, R-S Central (19-2) put up the knock-out punch as Haley Wilson (left field) and Haley White (right field, 2 RBI) each doubled into the gap. White’s shot also brought home Crain to plate the fifth and sixth runs of the game. Koon’s RBI grounder up the middle made it 7-0, R-S.
With the bases loaded and still in the fourth, a Brooke Vance liner to left for a single crossed two more runs for a 9-0 advantage. On the brink of the 10-run rule going into effect over the next three innings, Surry Central held serve to complete all seven frames.
R-S Central’s last run came in the sixth on Wilson’s RBI double to deep left-center.
“I felt like we were focused and relaxed to go out and play today,” R-S Central coach Melvin Digh said. “It’s good to get that first-round playoff win and I was proud of how well we hit the ball too.”