Well, Rome wasn't built in a day and the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step. And for the Watauga High softball team, patience and persistence finally paid off---at least it did on Thursday night.


The Pioneers (1-5 overall; 1-4 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) knocked off Patton 3-1 in a NW3A/4A Conference game in Morganton, N.C. Winning pitcher Michala McCune was in total control. She had her best effort of the season giving up only three hits and striking out seven.


"Michala did an outstanding job today on the mound," said WHS coach Stephanie Kostis. "She seemed really comfortable and didn't get rattled. She was in command of her pitches and her spots and that allowed her to keep hitters off balance."


The Pioneers got on the board in the top of the first inning. Shelby Winebarger got things rolling with an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error. Megan Jackson followed and was hit by a pitch. A grounder to short moved Winebarger to third, and Hope Lapointe drove her in with a single to left field.


McCune got all the run support she needed in the top of the fifth inning and it was Winebarger that sparked the attack. Sarah Combs and Elizabeth Dollar opened things up with consecutive singles. That set the stage for Winebarger, who laid down a perfect bunt that the pitcher overthrew to first base.


Both Combs and Dollar scored on the play giving the Pioneers a 3-0 lead. Winebarger ended up on second base. Unfortunately, Megan Jackson singled Winebarger to third, but both those runners were left stranded.


McCune was on cruise control until the bottom of the sixth inning. A pair of hits and a fielder's choice allowed Patton to load the bases. McCune retired the next two hitters before an error allowed Rachel Barrier to score from third. McCune closed things out by striking out the next batter.


"Our defense came up with some clutch plays, which honestly has not been the case all season," Kostis said. "We have worked really hard on the little things since our last game and the players have embraced this approach. If we continue to take pride in those fundamentals, we are capable of putting together a winning streak and getting ourselves back in the conference race.


"Our mindset from the beginning was to put pressure on the other team. We wanted to be aggressive on the basepaths when we had the chance. It worked out for us today. The only negative aspect today was our hitting. We have done such a good job in practice of getting good cuts, but today for some reason or other, it seemed we were pressing. I'm extremely proud of this team. They come to work and keep fighting. That shows a lot of character. Hopefully we can get our game in tomorrow and keep getting better."


The Pioneers, weather permitting, are scheduled to play Hickory today.




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

Watauga 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 - 3 5 4

Patton 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 1 3 3


Leading Hitters

Shelby Winebarger 1-2 Sac R

Michala McCune 1-3

Hope LaPointe 1-3 RBI

Sarah Combs 1-3 R

Elizabeth Dollar 0-4 R ROE


Michala McCune 7IP 1R 0ER 3 H 7K 0BB





The Watauga High girls' soccer team knocked off Patton 3-0 Thursday night. The win keeps WHS (7-0-2 overall; 3-0 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) in a first-place tie with St. Stephens in the NW3A/4A Conference standings.


The Pioneers also continued their stingy ways. WHS, which has only given up just three goals this season, pitched its sixth shutout of the season.


Cassandra Alverez put the Pioneers on top with a goal at the 27-minute mark of the first half. Kat Welsh, who will sign her national letter of intent with Meredith College Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the WHS Media Center, picked up the assist.


The Pioneers increased their lead ten minutes later on a goal by Tori Derrick. Sierra Hill got the assist as WHS owned a 2-0 lead at the intermission. Emily Goodnight closed things out with a goal at the 79-minute mark of the second half.


WHS won the junior varsity game, 6-0. Finley Collins led the way with a pair of goals. Megan Gottfried, Maddie Warren, Sarah Patton and Elena Russell also scored for the Pioneers. The Pioneers, weather permitting, are scheduled to play Hickory tonight.


The JV game begins at 5 p.m.; the varsity match starts at 6:30 p.m.




Watauga 3, Patton 0

Goals by

Cassandra Alverez in the 27th minute, assist by Kat Welsh

Tori Derrick, in the 37th minute, assist with Sierra Hill

Emily Goodnight in the 79th minute



Junior Varisty:

Watauga 6, Patton 0

Finley Collins 1st minute and 32nd minute

Megan Gottfried 4th minute

Maddie Warren 10th minute

Sarah Patton 34th minute

Elena Russert 65th minute






The Watuaga High boys' and girls' track teams marched their way to a pair of victories at Jack Groce Stadium on Thursday.


The WHS girls won seven events and bested the field with 91 points. Freedom finished a distant second with 48 points.


The Pioneers won three relay events, the 4x800-meter relay (11:53.04), the 4x100 (54.20) and the 4x200 (1:57.90). Savannah Randle won the girls' 100-meter dash in 13.09 seconds; Lynde Wangler captured the 800 in 2:49.28; Grace Plyler won the long jump with an effort of 14-feet; Alison Seramer won the girls' pole vault as she cleared the bar with a jump of 11-feet.


The WHS boys' won six events and scored 97.5 points. Freedom kept things close by finisheing second with 81 points.


Conner Pate led the Pioneers as he won the 400 in 54.30; Zach Styron captured the triple jump (39-7.50), Kenon Foxx won the shot put with a throw of 42-10; Matthew Hall won the boys' pole vault (10-6).


The Pioneers also won two relay evenbts---the 4x800 (10:12.42) and the 4x200 (1:36.90).


The Avery girls finished third on Thursday with 43 points. Kylie Polsgrove led the way for the Vikings as she won four events---the 100 hurdles (16,33), the 400 (1:02.23), the high jump (5-4), and the 300 hurdles (48.24). Her sister Kara Polsgrove won the 1,600 (6:03.61) and finished second in the 800 (2:54.09).


The Avery boys finished third with 43 points. Avery finished second in the 4x200 relay (1:41.10), Tyrell Hughes won two events---the 1,600 (4:55.23) and the 800 (2:15.67). Jackson Roberts finished second in the 300 hurdles (46.71), Austin Phillips finished second in the 200 (24.78), Avery won the 4x400 relay (3:58.50), and Dc Braswell won the high jump (5-10).





The Watauga High boys' golf team showed the effects of a long layoff Thursday in a Northwestern 3A/4A Conference meet at the Mimosa Golf & Country Club in Morganton, N.C.


The Pioneers finished fifth with at team score of 338;p Hibriten bested the field with a 316. Austin Graham paced the Pioneers with an ten-over par, 82. Rory McNeil fired an 83; Austin Northern had an 86.


Jordan Clontz of Freedom and Tyler Johnson of Hibriten paced the field as they each fired an even-par 72. The Panthers staved off St. Stephens to win the match by five shots.


The Pioneers travel to the Silver Creek Country Club Monday for a NW3A/4A Conference meet. Freedom will host.



Team results


Hibriten 316

St. Stephens 321

Hickory 324

South Caldwell 325

Watauga 338

Patton 346

FT Foard 370

Freedom 387




72 Jordan Clontz-Freedom and Tyler Johnson-Hibriten




Austin Graham 82

Rory McNeil 83

Austin Northern 86

Troy McNeil 87

Alan Graham 91

Kyle Decker 102






To say the least. Those two teamed up for a huge win at No.3 doubles that snapped a 4-4 tie and gave WHS a 5-4 win against the Hickory Thursday night.


That duo dominated William Einfall and Elliot Specht 10-1 to win the match. Spinetto and Lampkins were also victorious in singles play.


Spinetto knocked off Edgar Ellis, 6-4, 6-3, at No.4 singles; that win gave WHS a 3-1 lead in the match. Lampkins made it 4-2 as he defeated Tim STillwell, 6-3, 6-2, at No.6 singles.


But the Red Tornadoe rallied for wins at No.1 and No.2 doubles to tie the match. Luke Kessell and Will Arditti of the Red Tornadoes knocked off Lance Taylor and Dristen Trate 10-5 at No.1 doubles; Ellis and Ian McPhearson defeated Caleb Gould and Brody O'Neal 10-9 at No.2 doubles, forcing a tie and setting the stage for Spinetto and Lampkins.


The Pioneers travel to Newton-Conover for a non-conference, rescheduled match Monday.



Watauga vs Hickory March 27th 2014

Watauga 5 Hickory 4

2-0 Conference

4-2 Overall



Landon Taylor(W) def Luke Kessel(H) 4-6 6-4 1-0

Will Arditti(H) def Dristen Trate(W) 6-4 6-4

Caleb Gould(W) def William Einfalt(H) 6-1 6-0

Will Spinetto(W) def Edgar Ellis(H) 6-4 6-3

Ian McPhearson(H) def Brody O'Neal(W) 6-2 6-2

Josh Lampkins(W) def Tim Stilwell(H) 6-3 6-2




Kessel/Arditti(H) def Taylor/Trate(W) 10-5

Ellis/McPhearson(H) def Gould/O'Neal(W) 10-9

Spinetto/Lampkins(W) def Einfalt/Elliot Specht 10-1



Blake Howser/Andrew Skeens(W) def (h0 8-3

(H) def Clay Burchell(W) 8-4






The Watuaga High girls' lacrosse team dropped its home opener Thursday night. Mount Tabor erupted for nine goals in the second half and defeated Watauga 16-6 at Leigh Wallace Memorial Field.


The Pioneers (0-2) only trailed 7-4 at the intermission. Courtney Kapral, Katie Marks and Ellie Sloboda each scored two goals apiece for the Pioneers. WHS takes on Patton at home Saturday at 4 p.m., in a game that was added earlier this week by coach Holley Quick.