St. Stephens wins at North Lincoln, shares conference softball lead
By CHRIS HOBBS
Fred T. Foard High grabbed a share of the Western Foothills 3A baseball lead on Tuesday night, knocking off previously unbeaten East Lincoln 4-2 at Fred T. Foard.
The Tigers (6-1, 4-0) have won three straight games and share the early conference lead with undefeated St. Stephens. Those two teams meet for the first time this season on April 1 at Foard.
Reliever Zach Martin put the finishing touches on the victory over East Lincoln (6-1, 3-1), striking out a hitter to end the game with two runners on base.
The Mustangs had scored at least six runs in each of their first six games.
East Lincoln grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning but Foard tied it with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Tigers got their other two runs in the sixth inning.
Foard finished with four hits, including a home run by winning pitcher Lane Essary (two RBIs). Hayden Tabor and Connor Peschel also had hits for the Tigers and Kylan Bolick drove in two runs.
Essary went six innings, allowing three hits, two runs (one earned) with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
Carson Dahle was East Lincoln’s starter, pitching four innings and allowing two hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out 11. Logan Palmer took the loss, going two innings (one hit, three strikeouts).
Garrett Michael had a hit and walked once while Evan Matile and Matthew Phuntek each added a hit and were hit by a pitch.
Foard faces North Lincoln in a conference game Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Foard, and the Mustangs are at home Friday (6:30 p.m.) against St. Stephens.
Bandys 11, Newton-Conover 0, 5 inn.
Junior right-hander Cade Spencer had three hits – including a double – and limited the visiting Red Devils (3-5, 1-4) to one hit as the Trojans ran their win streak to five games.
Spencer is 4-0 this season with 24 innings pitched and seven hits allowed. He has issued three walks and struck out 40 in 24 innings pitched.
Alex Robinson had two hits with a double and drove in three runs and Zach Barnett added a double among his two hits and drove in three runs for Bandys.
The Trojans (7-3, 4-1) share the Catawba Valley 2A Athletic lead with Lincolnton and West Lincoln and beat both in their first meetings this season.
Bunker Hill 6, Maiden 0
The Bears (2-5, 2-3) got three hits by Seth Williams in a home win, handing Maiden (3-6 2-3) its third straight loss.
Tyler Hedgepeth, pitching in relief of Nick Jarosynski, went 5 1/3 innings for Bunker Hill. He allowed three hits, four runs (three earned), walked three and struck out 11.
The Bears scored twice in the fourth inning and the rest of their runs in the seventh inning.
Both of Bunker Hill’s wins this season are by shutout.
The Bears play a non-league game at Bunker Hill on Thursday (7 p.m.) against St. Stephens.
Maiden, outscored 28-1 in its losing streak, is at Lincolnton on Friday (7 p.m.) in a conference game.
Lincolnton 9, East Burke 1
The Wolves (5-3, 4-1) won for the fourth time in five games and snapped the Cavs’ win streak at three in a Catawba Valley 2A Athletic game at Lincolnton.
Right-hander Sam Carpenter gave up no earned runs and struck out 11 for the Wolves, who share the league lead with Bandys and West Lincoln.
East Burke (3-2, 3-2) will play West Lincoln in Icard on Friday at 7 p.m., and the Wolves will play a non-conference game Thursday (7 p.m.) at Highland Tech.
West Lincoln 8, West Caldwell 2
The Rebels (4-5, 4-1) won for the fourth time in five games and share the Catawba Valley 2A Athletic lead with Bandys and Lincolnton.
West Lincoln scored three runs in the second inning and five in the sixth inning.
West Caldwell (0-10, 0-5) had seven hits, including a double by Quinton Ford, and Ty Winebarger took a loss after throwing six innings. He gave up 10 hits, eight runs (five earned), walked two and struck out four.
Hickory 8, North Iredell 0
Three pitchers combined on a one-hitter as the Red Tornadoes (3-4, 1-3) snapped a four-game losing streak with a home win in a Western Foothills 3A game.
Will Banks gained a win, working 4 1/3 innings. He gave up the only hit for the Raiders (3-5, 0-4) to leadoff hitter Anson Strange.
Isaiah McDowell pitched 1 1/3 innings for Hickory and Izaiah Littlejohn worked one inning.
Hickory scored twice in the second inning and six runs in the fourth inning, picking up win No. 366 at HHS for head coach David Craft, who has 486 career victories.
Tripp Young went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs and Boone Herman and Dashawn Medley each added two hits for the Red Tornadoes.
Hickory will play at West Iredell, where Craft began his head-coaching career, in a league game on Friday at 6 p.m.
North Iredell, shut out for the second straight game, is home on Friday (6:30 p.m.) in a league game against Statesville.
St. Stephens 5, North Lincoln 2
A four-run sixth inning powered the Indians (7-0, 4-0) to a Western Foothills 3A victory on the road, and they share the league lead with Fred T. Foard.
No game statistics were available for St. Stephens, now 18-4 since Jimmy Bowman became head coach.
Maddox Walker had two hits and an RBI and Matt Heavner added two hits for North Lincoln (6-1, 3-1), held to its fewest runs this season.
Landon Reeves took a loss, falling to 3-1. Unofficially, he’s thrown 16 innings this season allowed three runs (all earned) while walking three and striking out 33.
St. Stephens has a non-league road game on Thursday (7 p.m.) against Bunker Hill.
The Knights travel to Fred T. Foard for a conference game on Friday (6:30 p.m.).
Freedom 8, Hibriten 4
The Patriots (4-5, 1-0) won their Northwestern 3A-4A opener in Morganton.
Freedom led 3-0 through four innings before the Panthers (6-4, 0-1) scored once in the fifth inning.
Two runs in the fifth inning gave the Patriots a 5-1 edge, cut to two runs in the sixth inning when Hibriten scored twice.
Freedom scored three runs in the sixth inning for an 8-3 lead.
Cameron Hodges and Ethan Watson each had two hits for the Panthers, and Connor Woodward had a double and RBI.
Woodward took a loss, working four innings. He walked four and struck out nine.
Freedom has won three straight games and has played seven of its first nine games at home (3-4). The Patriots face South Caldwell in Hudson on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Hibriten, 3-1 on the road this season, will be at home Friday (6 p.m.) for a league game against Ashe County.
Watauga 15, South Caldwell 5
The Pioneers (6-2, 1-0) won their sixth straight game with booming bats again in Boone.
Playing its third home game of the season, Watauga has outscored opponents 52-7 and has scored at least 12 runs in every game of its win streak.
South Caldwell (5-4, 0-1) gave up double-digit runs for the third time this season.
The Pioneers are at home on Friday (6:30 p.m.), facing Alexander Central in a league game.
South Caldwell faces Freedom in a conference game in Hudson on Friday (6:30 p.m).
West Iredell 10, Statesville 9
The Warriors (2-6, 1-3) held off a late rally by the Greyhounds (0-8, 0-4) to win a Western Foothills 3A game at Statesville.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for West Iredell and extended Statesville’s to 41 in a row.
Eli Josey had a double and triple and drove in three runs for the Warriors with freshman Talen Caton adding two RBIs and freshman Eli Pharr going 2-for-3 and driving in three runs.
Freshman Freeman Wallace, the third pitcher used by West Iredell, went four innings. He gave up seven hits, five runs (three earned), walked one and struck out three.
Statesville scored its highest total of the season and sustained its second one-run loss of the year.
West Iredell led 5-0 by the third inning and was up 10-5 after a four-run sixth innings. The Greyhounds scored two runs in the sixth inning and twice more in the seventh inning.
The Warriors will be at home Friday (6 p.m.) for a league game against Hickory, and Statesville faces North Iredell on the road Friday (6:30 p.m.).
Alexander Central 17, Ashe County 1, 5 inn.
The visiting Cougars (8-0, 1-0) won their Northwestern 3A-4 opener by two-hitting the Huskies (2-6, 0-1), who were playing their first game in 11 days.
Caleb Miller and Landon Reece combined to check Ashe County on two hits, one by Kabel Dillard and one by Graham Cline. Miller pitched four innings, allowing one hit and an unearned run, and he walked four and struck out nine. Reece closed and struck out three.
Alexander Central had 11 hits, led by two each from Blaine Hartness and Jaret Hoppes (four RBIs). Dusty Sigmon and Konor Davis each added two RBIs.
The Cougars had 11 runs in the second inning and added five in the third inning for a 16-0 lead. They have outscored opponents 27-1 in the last two games.
Ashe County has been outscored 35-1 in its last two outings.
The Huskies go to Forbush on Wednesday (6 p.m.) for a non-league game.
Alexander Central is at home Thursday at 6;30 p.m., playing a non-conference game against Mooresville.
McDowell 5, Patton 4
The visiting Titans scored four runs in the third inning to lead 5-1 and held off the Panthers for a non-conference win.
Patton scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tighten the game.
The loss was the third straight for the Panthers (3-5).
Patton plays Mountain Athletic 7 2A games next week against Brevard, on Tuesday at Patton (6:30 p.m.) and at Brevard on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Draughn 10, Avery County 0, 5 inn.
The host Wildcats (7-2) ran their win streak to six with their seconds shutout win of the season.
Freshman Jacob Mull had two hits, Logan McGee and Brayden Schutt each tripled and freshman Tate Jensen hit his first home of the season for Draughn.
Jensen picked up a win, going five innings. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three to improve to 2-0.
St. Stephens 4, North Lincoln 3
Mayson Lail struck out 17 and Mia Sexton had two of the Indians’ eight hits and drove in two runs in a Western Foothills 3Avictory at North Lincoln.
The Knights scored three runs in the first inning and the Indians had three in the second inning and the game-deciding run in the fifth inning.
North Lincoln had only two hits.
St. Stephens, 4-0 in the league is tied for the lead with East Lincoln.
The Indians are at East Lincoln on Friday (6 p.m.) in a showdown for the conference lead.
North Lincoln, 3-1 in the conference and tied for third place with Fred T. Foard, plays at Foard on Friday (6:30 p.m.).
Maiden 21, Bunker Hill 0
Averie Waddell hit two home runs – a three-run shot and a grand slam – to lift the Blue Devils to a road victory in the Catawba Valley 2A athletic.
Aleah Ikard added three doubles for Maiden,3-2 in the league and Tristan Smalling was the winning pitcher.
The Bears fell to 0-5 in the league.
Maiden will play at Lincolnton in a league game Friday (5 p.m.), and the Bears fae Newton-Conover on the road Friday (5 p.m.) in a conference game.
Bandys 1, Newton-Conover 0 (forfeit)
The Trojans picked up a forfeit win when the Red Devils did not have enough players healthy to play a Catawba Valley 2A Athletic game at Bandys.
Bandys is 4-0 in the conference and atop the standings.
The Trojans’ game on Wednesday at East Lincoln has been cancelled and their next game is Friday at 5 p.m. at West Caldwell.
Newton-Conover athletic director Todd Davis said the Red Devils expect to have nine players available on Friday when they face Bunker Hill at home (5 p.m.).
Alexander Central 18, Ashe County 2, 5 inn.
Macy Law had three hits and drove in five runs and the Cougars (10-0, 1-0) had 22 hits to win on the road in their first Northwestern 3A-4A game of the season.
Peyton Price went 5-for-5 with three RBIs, Kirstyn Herman added three hits and an RBI and Anna Jordan went 4-for-4 and drove in a run for Alexander Central.
Faith Carrigan (10-0) came on in relief of Kara Hinkle and gained a win for the Cougars, tossing 3 1/3 innings, giving up one hit and striking out seven.
Ashe County had five hits and made three errors.
Alexander Central wiped out a 2-0 deficit with seven runs in the second inning before adding three runs in the third inning and four in each of the next two innings.
The Cougars play a conference game at Watauga on Friday while Ashe County will have a league game on Friday (6 p.m.) at Hibriten.
East Burke 7, Lincolnton 0
Love Tallent had a double and triple and Addy Fortenberry drove in two runs, sparking the Cavs’ road victory in the Catawba Valley 2A Athletic.
Catherine Hammack and Taylor Bostian each had two hits for East Burke 2-2 in the league.
Kaylee Paige threw a complete game for East Burke, giving up three hits and she struck out seven.
The Cavs play a non-conference game at Hibriten on Wednesday (6 p.m.) and the Wolves go on the road Wednesday (6 p.m.) for a non-league game against Draughn.
West Lincoln 2, West Caldwell 1
Amelia May had two hits – one a double – and drove in a run and Carolina Robinson added an RBI as the Rebels won a Catawba Valley 2A Athletic game at home.
Hallie Burton tossed a complete game for West Lincoln, 4-1 in the league. Over seven innings, she allowed three hits and walked three and struck out eight.
Wet Lincoln scored a run in the fourth inning and another in the sixth inning, and West Caldwell scored in the seventh inning.
West Lincoln had five hits.
The Rebels are at East Burke on Friday (6 p.m.) for a league game while the Warri ors, 1-2 in the conference, play a non-league game Thursday (5 p.m.) at Freedom.
Hibriten 18, Freedom 6
The visiting Panthers opened Northwestern 3A-4A play with a 9-3 lead in the top of the third inning.
Freedom scored three runs in the third inning, closing within 9-6, and the Panthers added six runs in the fourth inning.
Jasmine Webb had two hits and Kelbony Clark and Madilyan Taylor each drove in two runs for Freedom, 0-1 in the league.
Mikhayla Lingafelt took a loss, working four innings and allowing 15 runs (six earned). She walked four and struck out three.
Hibriten, 1-0 in the conference, plays a non-league game at home on Wednesday (6 p.m.) against East Burke.
The Patriots have a non-conference game on Thursday (5 p.m.) in Morganton against West Caldwell.
East Lincoln 10, Fred T. Foard 0
In a Western Foothills 3A opener in Newton, the Mustangs scored seven runs in the fourth inning.
East Lincoln improved to 4-0 in the conference, outscoring opponents 54-1, and the Tigers fell to 3-1 in league games.
The Mustangs’ home game against Bandys on Wednesday has been cancelled. They play St. Stephens at home on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Tigers play a league game at Foard on Friday (6 p.m.) against North Lincoln.
Hickory 7, North Iredell 5
The Red Tornadoes gained their first Western Foothills 3A win of the season and kept the visiting Raiders winless in the league (0-4).
Hickory had two runs in the first inning and three more in the second inning for a 5-1 lead.
North Iredell was within 6-4 after scoring three runs in the fourth inning.
The Red Tornadoes led 7-4 after scoring in the fourth inning, and the Raiders got a run in the seventh inning.
Hickory plays a league game Friday at West Iredell, and the Raiders are at home Friday for a conference game against Statesville.
South Caldwell 18, Watauga 0, 5 inn.
The Spartans won their Northwestern 3A-4A opener on the road, scoring 10 runs in the first inning and six in the fifth inning.
South Caldwell plays at North Davidson on Wednesday (6 p.m.) while Watauga faces McDowell in Marion at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Bandys 3, West Lincoln 2
The Trojans (3-0-1, 1-0) won their Catawba Valley 2A Athletic opener with two goals in the second half, erasing a 2-1 deficit.
The Rebels, 0-1 in the league, play a conference match on Thursday (5 p.m.) at Maiden.
Newton-Conover 4, West Caldwell 0
The Red Devils won their Catawba Valley 2A Athletic debut, getting two goals from Taylor Lackey in a win at home.
Lilly Gargis, Briseyda Vasquez, Madeline Loy and Tayla Propts each had an assist for Newton-Conover, 1-0 in the league.
Kayla Martinez was in goal for a shutout for Newton-Conover.
The Red Devils plays a league match Thursday (6:30 p.m.) at Lincolnton, and the Warriors are at home on Thursday (5 p.m.) for a conference match against Bunker Hill.
Maiden 3, East Burke 1
The Blue Devils won a Catawba Valley 2A Athletic match in Icard, getting two goals by Vanessa Cespedes.
Liz Mroz had the other Maiden goal and Kylin Wayne and Daniella Vargas each added one assist.
Maiden, 1-0 in the league, is at home Thursday (5 p.m.) in a conference match against West Lincoln.