South Caldwell High jumped to an eight-run lead by the second inning on Tuesday and rolled past visiting Alexander Central 11-4 to start the Northwestern 3A-4A softball race.
Outfielder Addison Blair had three of the Spartans’ 13 hits and drove in a run while catcher Ciara Hanson added two hits and two RBIs, third baseman Regan Weisner homered and added another hit and drove in a run, and outfielder Lauren Spears drove in two runs.
South Caldwell scored five runs in the first inning and three more in the second inning.
Jenna Pittman threw a complete game, allowing 11 hits, four runs (all earned) with five walks and seven strikeouts as South Caldwell (2-0, 1-0) began defense of its Northwestern 3A-4A title.
Lanie Goforth, Ashley Seagle and Kyle Lapham each had two hits for Alexander Central (1-1, 0-1), which had 11 hits, and Lapham drove in three runs.
Faith Carrigan took the loss for the Cougars, giving up six hits, eight runs (six earned) with three wlaks over 1 2/3 innings.
South Caldwell finished a game ahead of Alexander Central in last year’s conference race, beating the Cougars twice.
Alexander Central won the first league meeting 7-1 in Taylorsville before the Spartans won at home 11-9 and 7-6 in the conference tournament final.
The Cougars advanced to the state 3A championship series, beating Cleveland twice to win the title.
The Spartans made the state 4A title series against Fayetteville Britt and lost two games to one.
South Caldwell plays Alexander Central in Taylorsville on March 29.
The Spartans’ next game is Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Hudson against Marvin Ridge, and the Cougars have moved their Friday league game at home against Watauga to Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. start.
The Pioneers rallied after being down 4-0 by the second inning and had a four-run seventh inning in Boone to win a conference opener.
Watauga scored three runs in the third inning and another in the fourth for a 4-all tie then won after the Warriors had taken a 5-4 lead with a run in the sixth inning.
Gracie Profitt went 3-for-4 for Watauga and Jada Wilson, the winning pitcher, had two hits and drove in four runs. Taylor Ledford added two hits and drove in two runs.
Wilson pitched three innings, allowing no earned runs. She walked five and struck out two.
Watauga’s home game on Wednesday against Wilkes Central has been postponed and its game at Alexander Central, originally set for Friday, has been moved to Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Taylorsville.
West Caldwell faces Freedom next, on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Morganton, instead of originally scheduled on Friday.
Candace Cooper pitched a complete game, allowing two hits and striking out four, as the Titans won their conference opener at home.
Kristen Melvin had two hits and drove in two runs and Madison Wills added two hits for McDowell.
St. Stephens (0-2, 0-1) meets Hickory in a league game on Friday at 6 p.m. at St. Stephens.
McDowell (1-3, 1-0) plays a non-league game on Wednesday at North Buncombe.
St. Stephens 2, McDowell 1
Walsh pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief to gain a save. He allowed one hit, walked three and struck out three after replacing winning pitcher J.D. Everett (4 2/3 innings pitched, one hit, four walks, 10 strikeouts).
St. Stephens loaded the bases in the first inning and Everett’s groundball out scored Matt Walker. Jake Speaks, who had singled, also scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Titans scored on a squeeze bunt.
Juan Campos threw a complete game for McDowell, allowing one hit and striking out eight.
St. Stephens faces Bunker Hill at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at St. Stephens while the Titans are at home Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., playing R-S Central.
The Spartans grabbed an early 5-0 lead en route to a Northwestern 3A-4A victory in Hudson.
South Caldwell starter Trent Black exited after 1 2/3 innings and Clay Canale pitched the final 5 1/3 innings to gain a win. Canale gave up three hits and one earned run, walking two and striking out six.
Hunter Ingle, batting cleanup, homered and drove in two runs and Jarrett Pritchard and Canale each added two hits for the Spartans (3-0, 1-0).
Easton Rhoney, Jacob Bebber and Andrew Auton had the Cougars’ hits.
Alexander Central starter Bryson Hammer (0-1) took the loss. He gave up six hits, five runs (four earned), walked three and struck out five over three innings.
South Caldwell had thrown no-hitters in its first two games.
The Spartans play on Friday at 6:30 p.m. in a league game at McDowell while the Cougars have shifted their home game with Watauga from Friday to Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Taylorsville.
Freedom-Hickory game on Wednesday
The Freedom at Hickory game scheduled Tuesday was moved to Wednesday.
To get the league game in, Hickory moved a home game scheduled against Newton-Conover to March 27, and Freedom moved a game scheduled at Patton to Friday.
Shelby Pettit and Gracie Arrowood each had a goal and Marley Mingus made 11 saves, sparking the Blue Devils’ home victory.
Brittny Cabalceta and Providence Reed each had an assist for Maiden.
Izzi Wood had three goals and an assist, leading the Red Tornadoes (3-0) to a home win.
Ayden Vaughn added two goals and an assist for Hickory while Jess Lafrancis had a goal and two assists and Lauren Hayes scored once.
Sarah Harding had five saves for the Red Tornadoes.
Watauga 9, Ashe County 1
The Pioneers had seven second-half goals to win a non-league match on the road.
Watauga’s next match is Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Asheville Roberson.
Freedom match postponed
East Burke’s non-conference match at Freedom was postponed and reset for April 3.
- Information for the roundup included reports by Adam Windham, St. Stephens head coach, baseball; Jonathan Watts, Alexander Central SID, baseball and softball.