The Chatham Central Bears were no match against the North Stanly, losing 10-0 on Friday to advance to the state semifinal round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A softball playoffs.
North Stanly (21-4-1) gained a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Senior Weslyn Almond batted leadoff for the Comets and hit a single that turned into a double after an error by the Bears. Almond then stole third and after nobody came to cover third base, Almond saw an opportunity and came in for the score.
North Stanly was stifled until a big fifth inning put the game away for good.
After loading the bases, freshman Payton Landis was hit by a pitch from Chatham Central senior Talli Poe. Junior Jada Jordan walked in for the Comets’ second run of the game.
North Stanly senior Alexa Sells was the next batter up and with the bases still loaded she smacked a pitch over the wall for a grand slam to put the Comets up 6-0 in the fifth inning.
“We played great,” said North Stanly head coach Greg Speight. “We got great pitching, good defense, everybody contributed to hitting the ball. It was just a total team effort.”
Errors were the story for the rest of the game as Chatham Central allowed several scoring plays on errors in the seventh inning.
North Stanly scored on an error after a throw to first base went awry, scoring Landis from third. Then on the next play, a simple fly ball hit by North Stanly freshman Merris Talbert was dropped and gave senior Sam Hogan and sophomore Camille Shelton a chance to sneak in for two more runs.
Chatham Central, already down 9-0, gave up one final run on a mishandled fly ball deep to center field that allowed Talbert to score from first base. The team amassed seven errors on the night that directly lead to four runs for North Stanly.
“We just had too many errors,” said Chatham Central head coach Jimmy Rodriquez. “We haven’t had any the last two games. Seven errors is not typical of us.”