RALEIGH – The Jack Britt Buccaneers returned to Dail Softball Stadium for game three of the 4A Softball Championship Series with South Caldwell just one day after being no-hit in game two by the Spartans Anna King. The Buccaneer bats woke up overnight, slapping out 13 hits in the decisive game three as Jack Britt pounded their way to a 6-3 victory over South Caldwell and the school’s first fast-pitch state championship.
The Buccaneers opened the game with a run in the top of the first as MacKenzie George came around to score on a line drive single to center field by Rayven Shepard. George who singled to open the game, went 3 for 4 on the day at the plate, scoring two of the Jack Britt runs and adding an RBI as she was named the series M.V.P. for the Buccaneers. In game one George also scored a run and had an RBI as she went 2 for 4 from the plate in the other Jack Britt win of the series.
South Caldwell responded in the bottom of the first, plating two runs as Reagan Weisner slashed an RBI single into center that scored Ciara Hanson who had doubled with two outs. Then Weisner scored as Graclyn Green singled, giving the Spartans a 2-1 lead.
Jack Britt answered right back in the second when the Buccaneers strung three straight one-out singles together as Catie McGrath, George and Savannah Roddey all singled. Then Carlie Myrtle drew a four-pitch walk to drive in a run and tie the game at 2. Shepard drove home the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left allowing George to scamper home and give the Buccaneers a 3-2 lead.
South Caldwell tied it up in the bottom of the second as Katie Wright singled with one out. She moved to second on a hard-hit single off the pitcher by Jasmine Hall before Cydney Combs smashed a ball off the shortstop for a single that allowed Wright to score and tie the game at 3.
MaKayli Harris opened the top of the third with a single for Jack Britt, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alyssa Norton. Harris stole third as McGrath drew a walk, bringing up George. George slapped a single through the left side to score Harris and give the Buccaneers a lead they did not relinquish.
The Buccaneers added some insurance in the top of the fourth when Taryn O’Connor singled to center field. Her single drove home Kassady Hardee and Abigail Johnson who was running for Myrtle as a courtesy runner. Myrtle managed the rest for Jack Britt, throwing the final 5.1 innings and allowing just 2 hits and no runs while striking out one Spartan and issuing one walk.
South Caldwell finished the season 29-4, winning the Northwestern 3A/4A over 3A State Champions Alexander Central by posting a record of 13-1 in league play. The Spartans earned the program’s first State Championship berth winning the Western Regional for the first time in school history.
Jack Britt finished the year 25-6, finishing in second place in the Sandhills 4A with a 10-4 league record. The Buccanneers won the Eastern Regional for the first time in program history and claimed Cumberland County’s first fast-pitch State Title.
4A Softball Championship: South Caldwell shuts out Jack Britt 3-0 to force game three
RALEIGH – After coughing up a two-run lead in the top of the seventh in game one, South Caldwell bounced back to shut out Jack Britt and force a decisive game three with a 3-0 win for the Spartans. Anna King threw a no-hitter to keep the Bucanneers off the board and push the series to a final game.
King was dominant for South Caldwell, working around two errors during her complete game no-hitter that saw her strike out 10 batters. King also worked around three walks in the game.
The Spartans gave her a cushion early, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. South Caldwell loaded the bases with no outs in the second. Jenna Pittman stepped into the box to slap a ball hard to the shortstop, Rayven Shepard, with one away. Shepard tried to make the play at the plate but the throw got away and Graclyn Green and Addison Blair came around to score, making it 2-0.
South Caldwell added on to their lead in the top of the fifth when Reagan Weisner slashed a single into left field as Cydney Combs came around to score. The RBI single pushed the score to 3-0 and the Spartans, and though the Bucanneers put runners in scoring position in the sixth, South Caldwell managed to hold on without surrendering a run.
Jack Britt fell to 24-6 on the season. South Caldwell improved to 29-3 on the year. Both teams are one win away from a State Championship in the decisive game three of the 4A Softball State Championship Series, which is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Dail Softball Stadium at NC State University on Sunday, June 3.
4A Softball Championship Game 1: Jack Britt strikes for 3 in seventh to knock off South Caldwell 3-2
RALEIGH, NC – The Jack Britt Bucanneers roared from behind in game one of the 4A State Championship series, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 3-2 victory over South Caldwell.
Jack Britt’s Carlie Myrtle and South Caldwell’s Jenna Pittman settled into a pitcher’s duel with both pitchers working out of jams in each of the first two innings. South Caldwell opened up the scoring in the bottom of the third as Jasmine Hall singled with one out before advancing on an error and a passed ball, before she scored the game’s first run on a ground ball to short by Ciara Hanson.
Jack Britt threatened to tie the game in the top of the fifth when Myrtle singled off the glove of the shortstop into shallow left field, pushing Skylar Owens towards the plate from second base. Owens was gunned down at the plate by Hall for the second out of the inning and keeping the score 1-0 Spartans.
South Caldwell added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Reagan Weisner singled with one out and then came around to score on a double by Addison Blair. The Spartans threatened again in the sixth, stranding runners on second and third, leaving the score 2-0.
Down to their last three outs, the Bucaneers rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to take their first lead of the game. Alyssa Norton led off the inning with a single, and Abigail Johnson attempted to sacrifice her into scoring position. Johnson reached on a throwing error, putting the tying run on the base paths.
The Bucanneers got on the board with a single by Catie McGrath, scoring Norton and pushing the pinch runner Owens to second. MacKenzie George slapped a single to right field, scoring Owens and tying the game at two. With the bases loaded and one out, Rayven Shepard grounded to third, where Graclyn Green took a force at third and threw home where McGrath slid in under the tag to put Jack Britt up 3-2.
Myrtle was the winning pitcher for Jack Britt, throwing a complete game while allowing two runs, both earned, giving up 10 hits while striking out five and walking three. Pittman took the loss for South Caldwell, throwing a complete game, allowing three runs, two earned, with nine hits, five strikeouts and two walks.
The Spartans dropped to 28-3 on the year, snapping a 25 game winning streak. Jack Britt improved to 24-5 on the season and can close out the series with a win tomorrow. Game two is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Dail Softball Stadium on the campus of NC State University.