RALEIGH — Taking advantage of six South Granville errors, West Stanly rallied from three runs down and claimed the NCHSAA 2A softball championship with a 4-3 victory.
Walker Barbee’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, only the Colts’ second hit of the day, drove in Macey Webb and Brennan Broadaway with the tying and wining runs as the Colts swept the Vikings in the best-of-three series on Field No. 4 of the Walnut Creek Softball Complex.
The rally from a 3-0 deficit marked the second time in the series for West Stanly, which rallied from a similar deficit in an 8-5 victory Friday night.
Webb and Broadway had opened the inning reaching on errors on the left side of the Vikings’ infield, but after a sensational catch at the fence by centerfielder Savannah Tilley followed by a strikeout, appeared to be stranded.
Then came Barbee, who delivered a bloop just in front of right fielder Brandy Celia to drive in both runners.
“I can’t really explain that hit,” Barbee said. “I’m just so excited. I have to thank my teammates – if it weren’t for them being on base, I would have had no chance.”
The Colts28-4), drew within 3-2 in the fourth inning on a lead-off single from Maddie Brown, who moved to second when Alison Swaringen reached on an error.
Brown eventually scored an a wild pitch, and Swaringen on an error of Webb grounder.
“I told the girls to go out, play the game and try to have fun,” said Colts coach Wesley Kidd. “If you don’t, then you are going to get tense.
“We had to battle through their early scoring, and when we started our rallies, and it put pressure on them (Vikings).”
South Granville, which entered the championship series with a 24-1 record and riding an 18-game winning streak, came out aggressively in the first three innings, scoring one run in each for its 3-0 lead.
“I hate this for our seniors, because they worked so hard all year,” Vikings coach Jack Day said. “If it works out, it works out.
“But it didn’t work out today – we should have scored more runs – we just didn’t take advantage of our chances.”
Tilley was the only batter to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3.
The Vikings managed only one hit after the fourth inning against Savannah Blalock, the winning pitcher and tournament MVP.
“I knew I had to be more careful with my pitches,” Blalock said. “I had to hit my spots better and rely on my defense.”