Pirates, Cavs reach quarters in softball
Porter Ridge High's softball team faces a familiar opponent in the 4A state quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The Pirates (18-6) host Alexander Central (28-1) for the third straight season with a semifinal berth at stake.
Alexander Central won the first meeting 7-1 in 2011, but the Pirates bounced back last year with a 1-0 victory on their way to winning the 4A state championship.
The first two meetings were at Alexander Central, but Tuesday's is in Indian Trail.
"This is what you work for, to get to the big game," said Pirates coach Lael Rorie. "When you play Alexander Central it's always a big game. We're excited for it and ready to play on Tuesday."
The Pirates reached the quarterfinals with a dominant 12-2 win in six innings over Olympic on Friday.
The Trojans entered the game with a 23-3 record, but Porter Ridge jumped on the visitors early by scoring five runs in the first inning to take a 5-1 lead.
Olympic never recovered and the Pirates put the Trojans away for good with a six-run sixth inning.
"It really just set the tone jumping on them from the beginning," said Rorie. "I looked up some of Olympic's scores and saw that they usually get ahead early, so we talked about coming out focused and getting some runs on the board. We were ready to go in the first inning."
Juniors Bobbi Jones and Kayleigh Jonas both went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer to lead the Pirates, who totaled 13 hits.
Junior Tara Loken finished 2-for-3 while senior Courtney Price and sophomore Hallie Rice each batted 2-for-4.
Jonas picked up the win in the circle.
Nuccio continues tear
Cuthbertson junior Mattie Nuccio is batting .1000 in the postseason.
Nuccio is a combined 11-for-11 in three 2A state playoff games, including a 4-for-4 effort in Friday's third-round 10-6 road win over North Surry.
"She battled and battled all night," said Cavs coach Jessica Marchand of Friday's performance. "She fouled off anything close and then when she got the pitch she wanted she drove it. Mattie's really swinging the bat well right now."
The Cavaliers (20-3) are now in the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history and will face Rocky River Conference foe West Stanly (23-4) on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
CHS swept both regular-season meetings with the Colts, but West Stanly handed the Cavs a 10-7 loss in the championship of the RRC tournament on May 2.
Cuthbertson jumped on North Surry early in Friday's third-round win.
The Cavs scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never gave up their lead.
"That was huge," said Marchand of the opening inning. "That kind of got the girls pumped up for the game after a long bus ride. We were ready to play."
CHS tacked on two more runs in the fourth and scored its last in the fifth.
Junior Kaylee Lamb finished 3-for-4 while senior Kara Salvo went 1-for-4 with three RBI.
The Cavs finished with 16 hits compared to 14 for North Surry.
Nuccio picked up the win in the circle. She recorded five strikeouts and walked just one batter.
Mavericks move on
Despite blowing a four-run lead following a delay, Marvin Ridge advanced to the 3A state quarterfinals for the first time in school history with a 9-7 road win over East Rowan on Friday.
The Mavericks (20-2) built a 7-3 lead before lightning forced a delay in the bottom of the fifth inning.
East Rowan (17-7) responded with four runs in the fifth to tie the game at 7-all, but Marvin Ridge answered with a run in the sixth and one more in the seventh.
The Mavericks, who were regular season and tournament champions of the Southern Carolina Conference, host Jay. M. Robinson (25-2) in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Colts eliminate Panthers
West Stanly scored all three of its runs in the first inning and held off Piedmont for a 3-1 win in the third round of the 2A state playoffs on Friday.
The Colts improved to 23-4 on the season while the Panthers end their year with a 20-7 record.
Piedmont and West Stanly faced each other four times in 2013. The Panthers won the first meeting on March 19, but the Colts claimed the last three.
Piedmont entered the postseason as the No. 3 seed out of the RRC and knocked off two No. 1 seeds on the road to reach the third round for the second straight year.