The Hickory High baseball team marched its way to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A western finals Friday night by knocking off South
Point 5-2 in Belmont, N.C. Nick Guarino tossed a four hitter as the Red Tornadoes (16-10) snapped South Point's (23-2) 11-game winning streak. South Point was the No.1 seed from the Big South Conference.
Hickory will play Patton, the No.3 seed from the Southern Moutain 2A/3A Athletic Conference, in the western finals at home Tuesday night. The Panthers (16-8) defeated Fred T. Foard 6-0 Friday night in Newton, N.C. The Tigers finish their season with a 13-14 record. Keep in mind, HHS, Patton and FTF will be members of the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference next fall.
Adam Baker continued his hot pace offensively with a two-run double in the top of the first that staked the Red Tornadoes to an early 2-0 lead. Hickory added a run in the second inning on Tyler Pait’s two-out RBI single for a 3-0 lead. Leading 3-2, the Red Tornadoes put the game out of reach with two more runs in the sixth. Coan McAlpine’s one-out RBI double and Davis Hanvey’s two-out RBI single gave Hickory a 5-2 lead.
INDIANS ADVANCE TO WESTERN FINALS
The St. Stephens High girl's soccer team advanced to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A western title game by shutting out Lawndale-Burns 4-0 in Lawndale, N.C., Friday night. It was St. Stephens (20-3-2) fourth consecutive shutout in postseason play. The Indians have outscored their opponents by a 23-0 margin during that stretch.
Macy Franklin, who has been a scoring machine for the Indians on the state playoffs, scored her 11th goal in the postseason with a tally in the first half that gave St. Stephens a 2-0 halftime lead. Lauren Brooks, Caroline Holmes and Susan Bare also scored for the Indians.
St. Stephens will play either Weddington (18-4), the No.1 seed from the Southern Carolina 3A/4A Conference, or Charlotte Catholic (19-2-3), the top seed from the MEGA 7 3A/4A Conference Wednesday in the finals. Weddington and Charlotte Catholic are scheduled to play each other tonight.
COUGARS, TIGERS ADVANCE TO REGIONALS
Alexander Central and Fred T. Foard High softball teams are in the western regional semifinals after both teams won sectional championships Friday night.
The Cougars (28-1) outscored Lake Norman 14-8 and advanced to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 4A western semifinals on Friday. The Cougars have won 26 in a row and they're No.1 in the state in Class 4A. Alexander Central broke the game open with a seven-run fourth inning.
The Cougars sent eight batters to the plate against No.5 Lake Norman (20-3). Kiana Miller had a three-run double in the frame; Aven Miller had a run-scoring double. That explosion handed Alexander Central a commanding 11-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Millsaps was 3-5 with three runs-batted-in; Miller was a single shy of hitting for the cycle. She had a two-run home run in the first inning. The Cougars will play either Indian Trail-Porter Ridge in the western finals Tuesday night. Porter Ridge, which won the Class 4A title last year, defeated Charlotte-Olympic 12-2 Friday night.
Fred T. Foard advanced to the NCHSAA Class 3A western finals by knocking off Franklin 2-1 Friday night. The Tigers (23-4) will play Enka Tuesday night. Enka (18-4) eliminated St. Stephens 4-3 in nine innings Friday night. The Indians (16-8) rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, but lost the game in the ninth.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Enka’s Marrah Troutman, who had struck out her first three times against losing pitcher Katie Baker, poked a two-strike liner down the line off the glove of third baseman Briana Clontz to lead things off, and on the next pitch Sydney Davis hit the chalk down with another shot down the left-field line to put runners at second and third. Addison Harris won the game with a deep fly ball to center field that scored Troutman with the winning run.