DOBSON — Surry Central’s softball team has experienced a number of highs and a number of lows in the 2018 season. It just so happened that the team had a walk-off and a shutout in the same week.
The Lady Eagles (2-6, 2-1) had two tough games this week. One was against conference foe North Surry and the other versus the powerhouse North Stokes Lady Vikings (9-1, 2-0).
Up first was the battle of the Western Piedmont 2A Conference rivals. They Greyhounds (4-6, 3-2) were coming off their biggest win of the season, a 6-0 thrashing of the previously undefeated West Stokes Wildcats, when they traveled to Dobson.
Central pitcher Emma Bullin faced a bases-loaded situation right away after walking two batters and giving up a single to Makara Woodbury. Bullin kept the scoreboard clear, however, with three strikeouts in the top of the first.
It was the Eagles that struck first in the bottom of the second. Haley Newman hit a single off a pitch from North Surry’s Drew Beamer. Megan Atkins moved Beamer to second before an RBI double from Mattie Grace Snow brought Megan home.
The Eagles added to their 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Claire Via hit a single and advanced to second when Savanah Atkins was hit with a pitch.
Newman scored Via on an RBI single to put the Eagles up 2-0.
The Lady Hounds woke up in the top of the fourth and tied the game at 2-2. The first run came in the form of a Beamer home run. The second saw Madison Bowman cross the plate after getting on base with a double.
North Surry built a lead in the sixth and seventh innings. By scoring one run in each, the Hounds held a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Via approached the plate with an out already pressuring the Eagles. Via hit a single, and was joined by Savanah Atkins after she was hit by a pitch.
Then it was Taylor Coe’s turn to step up to the plate. Coe was 0-for-3 on the game, hitting two fly balls and a ground out. None of that mattered though, as Coe hammered a three-run walk-off homer to win the game.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the story doesn’t end there.
The North Stokes Lady Vikings were next on the schedule and are in a league of their own. Currently ranked by MaxPreps as the second-best team in all of North Carolina, the Vikings entered Wednesday’s game riding a five-game winning streak.
North Stokes outscored opponents 51-8 in that span. The Vikings started Wednesday’s game with three hits and three runs in the top of the first inning.
Megan Atkins was walked in the bottom of the first. She was followed by Via, who hit a single. That would be the last time an Eagle would do so until the bottom of the fourth.
Viking pitcher Autumn Martin was the source of Central’s struggles. Martin only allowed three hits in the game, throwing an incredible 15 strikeouts.
But the Eagle defense held solid and kept the lead to just three runs until the sixth inning. North Stokes had just one hit from the second through fifth innings.
Once Martin hit a double in the top of the sixth inning, the floodgates opened. Sarah McBride followed it up with a triple. Though Martin was tagged out at home, McBride scored on a sacrifice fly from Lora Wood.
The Vikings added two more runs in the top of the seventh to coast to a 6-0 victory.
Savanah Atkins did get on base and even stole second, but three straight strikeouts by Martin ended the game.
Central will travel to Walkertown for another WPAC match-up. The Lady Vikings travel to South Stokes tonight for their third game in the Northwest 1A Conference.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith