WALNUT COVE — The North Surry Greyhounds knocked off regular-season champion Forbush in Wednesday night’s semifinal of the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference softball tournament, and will advance to the championship game tonight at South Stokes at 7 p.m.
North’s Drew Beamer hit a home run over the center field fence in the top of the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie. Her pitching did the rest, as she completed a shutout of the state’s third-ranked 2A team according to MaxPreps.com for a 1-0 win.
The 2017 Forbush softball program had only tasted defeat once prior to Wednesday night’s showdown. The Falcons’ only other loss of the season was dealt by North Davidson, who currently hold an unblemished 12-0 in Central Piedmont 4A conference standings.
The Hounds had previously taken losses from Forbush last month, the first game 10-0 and the most recent 3-2.
In the first for the visiting North Surry team, no Greyhounds were placed on base, which allowed for a quick time at the plate. Forbush posed back-to-back base hits, but Beamer struck out the next batter, and a caught pop fly in center field rested the Falcons and left their two runners stranded on base.
North Surry’s Cora Stanley became the first baserunner for the Hounds in the second inning with her infield chopper on a 0-2 count, but three outs were collected without her advancing further. Forbush did not have a runner on base during its second opportunity at the plate and after two complete innings, the game remained scoreless.
Cidney Fulk reached base for North Surry via a base hit in the third inning, but was also left stranded. Casey Brown’s line drive out to right field ignited the Falcons in the bottom of the third, but back-to-back forceouts at second base muted the threat, and Beamer in the circle retired the last batter in the bottom of the third.
After three complete innings, the game remained a scoreless tie. No Hounds were able to reach base in the fourth. The Falcons got a runner to first base with a walk in its half of the inning, but couldn’t advance her.
In the fifth inning, Madison Bowman stepped up to the plate with two out and tallied the first North Surry double of the game, but she was left on base as well. The Hounds turned around by not allowing a Falcon on base in the bottom half of the inning.
The sixth inning was definitely the difference in the ball game. Beamer’s solo homer was the only scoring damage that the Hounds would ever do. However, by the conclusion of the contest, she had made sure it was all the Hounds needed to defeat the strong Forbush squad. Over the sixth and seventh innings for the Falcons, only one runner reached against Beamer, and neither that runner nor any others ever crossed home plate.
The Hounds now own victories this season over Northwest 1A champion East Surry, the state’s second-ranked 1A team; defending 4A state champion West Forsyth, and WPAC champion Forbush, the state’s third-ranked 2A team. The latest win advanced North Surry to 11-11 overall, while Forbush dropped to 18-2.