The big bat of Meredith Burroughs was the difference for Pikeville Charles B. Aycock on Sunday afternoon. Burroughs hit two home runs in her first two trips to the plate and drove in five to lead the Golden Falcons to a convincing 7-2 decision over Newton Fred T. Foard in the third and decisive game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A
softball championship series. Burroughs hit her 18th and 19th homers of the season in the decisive game to tie the state record for home runs in a single season. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship series.
A two-run shot by the left-handed hitting sophomore made it 2-0 Aycock in the first, and then a three-run blast in the third moved the score to 5-0. Aycock added a pair of runs in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage. Foard answered with two runs in the top of the fifth on RBI singles by Abby Bolick and Mackenzie Dziendziel, but could get no closer.
Brooke Bell was the winning pitcher for Aycock, although the Tigers outhit the winners 6-4. She struck out five and didn't walk a batter. Lexi Shubert was the loser, with 11 strikeouts and three walks. Cierra Shull and Dziendziel each had two hits for Foard, which finished 26-6 overall.
The Golden Falcons had rallied from a game down in the series, as Ivy Hartzell had a pair of hits and drove in two runs to help lift Aycock to a 4-3 decision over in the second game on Saturday afternoon, earning a split. Foard had won the opening game of the series earlier on Saturday by 1-0 in nine innings, snapping a 26-game Aycock winning streak. Senior first baseman Rebecca Rowe drove home the only run of the game and Shubert was the winning pitcher, striking out 11 and walking only one, and also had two hits.
Aycock finished the season with a 31-3 record. It was the eighth trip to Walnut Creek for the softball finals in the last 13 years for Aycock but its first fast-pitch state title.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
STATE 3-A SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP--GAME THREE
Fred T. Foard 0 0 0 0 2 0 0--2 6 3
Charles B. Aycock 2 0 3 2 0 0 x--7 4 1
NCHSAA STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
GAME THREE: CLASS 1-A
SOUTH STANLY PULLS AWAY TO BEAT CAMDEN FOR NCHSAA 1-A SOFTBALL CROWN
South Stanly scored in all but one inning on Sunday afternoon as the Rowdy Rebel Bulls beat Camden 9-2 in the third and decisive game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-A softball championship series. Steely Russell, who went the distance on the mound for the Bulls in the final game and fanned 10 while limiting Camden to four hits, was named the championship Most Valuable Player.
South Stanly broke on top 2-0 in the bottom of the first, scoring twice with Allison Smith driving home a run with a single and Lacey Leary getting an RBI on a sacrifice fly. A pair of Rowdy Rebel Bull singles and an error made it 3-0 South Stanly in the third, but the Bruins sliced it to 3-1 in the fourth. Kara Pipkin's single scored Jordan Cutrell, who had walked and reached third on an error. Then South Stanly began to pull away, as Ali Gallagher and Erin Thompson had RBI singles in the fourth and then the Bulls added a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Leary's two-run double was the key hit for South in the sixth.
Thompson had three hits for the winners while Leary, Gallagher and Emily Poplin had two hits apiece in the 14-hit South Stanly attack. Rachel Gilliken was the losing pitcher. On Saturday afternoon, Meredith Martin's single in the seventh inning drove in the only runs of the game as South Stanly nipped Camden 2-0 in the second game, evening the series and forcing the decisive contest.
In the opener, Gilliken got the win and also drove in three runs to lead Camden to an 11-4 victory. Gilliken went the distance on the mound, scattering eight hits and striking out four. South Stanly, which last won an NCHSAA softball title in 1998, ended the season 27-7 overall while Camden finished 17-13 after a 1-5 start.
NCHSAA CLASS 1-A SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: THIRD GAME
Camden 0 0 0 1 0 1 0-- 2 4 2
South Stanly 2 0 1 2 1 3 x--9 14 3
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2012 STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
All series are best of three games
CLASS 4-A: DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK, DURHAM
W.A. HOUGH (23-10) vs. MIDDLE CREEK (24-7)
Game 1: Middle Creek 2, Hough 0
Game 2: Middle Creek 10, Hough 4
CLASS 3-A: FIVE COUNTY STADIUM, ZEBULON
CHARLES B. AYCOCK (21-9) vs. WEDDINGTON (26-6)
Game 1: Weddington 5, Charles B. Aycock 3
Game 2: Weddington 4, Charles B. Aycock 2
CLASS 2-A: FIVE COUNTY STADIUM, ZEBULON
RANDLEMAN (29-4) vs. WHITEVILLE (24-5)
Game 1: Whiteville 3, Randleman 2
Game 2: Whiteville 3, Randleman 1
CLASS 1-A: DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK, DURHAM
VOYAGER ACADEMY (20-6) vs. SOUTH STANLY (28-4)
Game 1: South Stanly 13, Voyager 0 (10 run rule, 4 1/2 innings)
Game 2: South Stanly 6, Voyager 1