North Stokes, the state’s number one ranked softball team in 1A, has now won eight consecutive games with a 12-2, 6-1 double header victory over Northwest Conference opponent and county rival South Stokes on Friday night.
“You can never take any team lightly, especially an in county game with South Stokes,” said Viking coach Jeff Frye. “We struggled a little early on in the first game, but was able to string some hits together late and win in the sixth inning. In the second game, they kept us a little off balance, but we were able to get some key hits and score some runs.”
In the first game, the Sauras took a 2-0 lead on Anna Mckenzie’s one out double to right-center field in the top of the second inning. After a walk to McKinley Carter, North’s pitcher, Sierra Hubbard, struck out leadoff hitter Grace Martin and then got Molly Crouse to ground out to Allee Boles at third base to end the threat.
The Vikings responded in the bottom half of the inning with five runs. Boles started the inning with a single and the Lora Wood followed suit. Kelsey Hawkins loaded the bases by being hit with a pitch by Raegan Badgett. Hubbard hit a sacrifice fly plating Boles and then senior Sarah McBride singled scoring Wood. Leadoff hitter Carley Gravely then smacked a three run homer extending the home team’s advantage to 5-2.
North added seven runs, three of them unearned, in the bottom half of the sixth inning on five hits including a two run homer by Autumn Martin and Kelsey Hawkins deep ball to end the game.
The green and white took a 2-0 edge in the third inning of game two on an RBI single by Reid Hawkins scoring McBride and a hit by Sydney Mabe pushed Hawkins across the plate.
In the fourth inning, the home team extended their edge to 3-0 on Gravely’s first of two RBI’s in the contest with a single.
The Sauras cut into the Viking’s lead in the sixth stanza when Maddie Shore singled plating Badgett. North responded again with three runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI’s by Hubbard, Gravely, and Reid Hawkins.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said Saura coach Rick McHone. “Errors played a big role in the first game. We have really improved our play in the last four or five games. I’ve been happy with what we have seen.”
Reid Hawkins had four hits and two RBI’s in the first game to lead the Vikings. Gravely added two hits and four RBI’s and Martin contributed three hits and two RBI’s. McKenzie added a hit and two RBI’s for South. In the second game, McBride had three hits and scored two runs for the Vikings, while Martin led the Sauras with two hits.
The Vikings improve to 20-2 and finished the Northwest Conference undefeated at 6-0. South falls to 1-18 and 0-6. North will await the winner of the East Surry / South game on Tuesday in the semi-finals of the conference tournament. The championship game will be played on Thursday at South Stokes.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.