1A Softball Championship: Alleghany comes from behind to down Louisburg 3-2 in extras and sweep the series
RALEIGH – With their backs to the wall in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans of Alleghany managed to scrape out one run and force extra innings in game two of the 1A Softball State Championship Series. The Trojans managed to push the only run of the extra frames across in the ninth to steal the win 3-2 over Louisburg and sweep the series, two games to none, and claiming the school’s first fast-pitch state championship.
The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Abby Hawks tripled to bring around Haley Rife. Louisburg shot into the lead for the first time in the series as they hung two on the board in the top of the fourth when Chelsea Roberson scored on a fielder’s choice and Abigail Fagan scored on a sacrifice fly by Madi Leonard.
Both starting pitchers cruised from that point until the bottom of the seventh when Alleghany started the inning with a leadoff double by Rife. Hawks followed that double with a sharply hit ground ball, which forced an errant throw up the first baseline, allowing Hawks to reach safely and Rife to score from second to tie the game at 2.
Louisburg threatened in the top of the ninth, pushing Ragan Holloman all the way to third after a leadoff single. Alexandra Evans flew out to center field for the second out and Holloman appeared to score the go-ahead run but was called out on appeal for leaving the bag too early, giving Alleghany the third out of the inning and keeping the score tied at 2.
In the bottom of the ninth Rife slashed a two out triple to center, giving Alleghany an opportunity to claim the game. Hawks slapped a liner to right, which bounced off the right fielder’s glove and allowed Rife to cross the plate to give Alleghany a 3-2 victory and state championship.
Freshman pitcher Kenzi Lyall threw every inning for Alleghany, and her brilliant performance in the circle earned her series M.V.P. honors. Lyall allowed two earned runs in 16 innings pitched during the series, striking out nine in game two and 13 in game one all while giving up just seven hits and four walks.
1A Softball Championship – Game 1: Alleghany strikes for three in the third on way to 3-0 win over Louisburg
RALEIGH – In what could largely have been described as a quiet pitcher’s duel, the Alleghany Trojans exploded for three runs in the third inning to down Louisburg 3-0 in game one of the NCHSAA 1A Softball State Championship Series.
The Trojans picked up a one-out single Kenzi Lyall on a hard-hit ball off the shortstop. A fielding error allowed Lyall to advance to second as Taylor Allen took first. Then Haley Rife slapped a ball into center field, bringing Lyall around to score the game’s first run and moving Allen all the way up to third. Rife was able to take second on the throw to third trying to nab Allen. That set up a squeeze play opportunity that saw not one, but two runs come around to score as Abby Hawks bunted into the play that would push two runs across for the Trojans and make it 3-0.
Lyall was dominant in the circle as well, throwing a complete game shutout in game one. She held the Warriors to one hit and struck out 13 batters while only issuing three walks. Outside of the third inning, Louisburg pitcher Laine Barefoot was equally dominant. The Warrior hurler struck out 11 Trojans on the night, scattering six hits and giving up two earned runs.
Louisburg fell to 21-5 on the year, snapping a seven-game winning streak coming into the night. The Trojans improved to 22-5 on the season and can wrap up the best-of-three series with a win on Saturday. Game two of the series is slated for 2:00 p.m. at NC State University’s Dail Softball Stadium.