NCHSAA STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
GAME THREE: CLASS 1-A
SOUTH STANLY PULLS AWAY TO BEAT CAMDEN FOR NCHSAA 1-A SOFTBALL CROWN
RALEIGH— 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