Raiders eliminated in first round by Asheboro
After rallying from a 6-0 deficit, the momentum shifted decidedly in Southern Vance’s favor by the sixth inning of Friday’s first-round state playoff tilt with Asheboro.
Down 8-7, the second-seeded Raiders’ cleanup hitter, Megan Hight, came to the plate with speedy Brittany West on second after knocking a double to left field.
But with two outs, Hight ripped a line drive right at Asheboro’s third baseman to end the inning.
The Blue Comets added two insurance runs in the seventh before allowing two baserunners but no runs in the bottom of the frame to preserve a 10-7 win and a trip to the second round.
“I felt really good,” Southern Vance coach Leann Harrell said of the sixth inning. “Honestly, I thought with the momentum we had we were going to come back. But we just fell short.”
Asheboro (8-11), a three seed, advances to face fourth-seeded Burlington Williams (11-7), which defeated second-seeded Western Harnett (14-5).
The Blue Comets jumped on the Raiders with two unearned runs in the first inning and scored four more in the third to make it 6-0.
“Where we’ve been struggling all year is our defense and errors,” said Harrell. “I think that is basically what cost us the game.”
Southern (14-6) got three back in the third inning before Asheboro scored two more in the fourth to make it 8-3.
Kaylan Hoyle belted a two-run triple in the bottom of the fourth to get the Raiders within three.
Southern got within two runs in the fifth on an Alicia Shearin sacrifice fly and Mikayla Sellers made it a one-run game when she scored from third base after an errant throw to pick her off.
“I’m very proud of them for not just laying down and giving up the game,” said Harrell. “They came up and fought.”
Hoyle started the game, which proved to be her last in a Raider uniform. She threw 3.1 innings, allowing eight hits while striking out five before West came on.
West, a freshman, fanned the first three batters she faced and finished with five strikeouts, allowing three hits.
“She’s always been somebody we can count on if we ever need her,” Harrell said of West. “She’s always got Kaylan’s back if we ever need her.”
“Brittany’s got a lot of time to shine the next few years,” added Harrell.
ASHEBORO — Haley Skipper (2-for-3, 3 RBI), Maya Vaughan (2-for-5, RBI), Vangie Borchert (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Laycee Baughman (2-for-5, RBI), Anna Davidson (1-for-4), Ashley Webster (1-for-3), Abbie Worsham (1-for-4)
SOUTHERN — Kiyanna Kearney (1-for-3), Kaylan Hoyle (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Brittany West (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Megan Hight (2-for-4), Mikayla Sellers (3-for-4, RBI), Bree Simmons (1-for-4), Alicia Shearin (0-for-4, RBI), Allyson Dunn (1-for-3)
Contact the writer at email@example.com.