Louisburg’s season ended with a 9-4 home loss to Whiteville in Game 2 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 1A East regional final.
But despite a homer from junior Ivy Hayes, Whiteville faced a 4-2 disadvantage going into the top of the sixth.
Three of the first four Wolfpack hitters in the inning reached via Louisburg (24-5) errors, and Lauren Hilbourn put her club ahead for good by stealing home as part of a double-steal attempt.
Kourtney Grainger and Sage McLelland followed with towering back-to-back homers, and Whiteville was suddenly in charge at 8-4.
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The postgame ceremony began with Louisburg accepting a regional runner-up plaque to commemorate its deepest playoff run since a state finals appearance in 1998.
The Warriors only have four seniors, but each one is a major contributor – leadoff hitter Mackenzie Wood, pitcher Arianna Fuller-Ball, catcher Summer Phillips and outfielder Sarah Foster.
“I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished this year,” said Louisburg head coach J Stamey. “We worked very hard to get (to the state semifinals). It took our entire team to get there. ... We might have just fallen asleep a bit (in the sixth inning). We need to learn how to bounce back from that and keep playing.”
Louisburg dropped Game 1 by an almost identical score, losing 9-5 at Whiteville. Louisburg was the higher seed, but the teams had to flip Game 1 and Game 2 locations because Louisburg’s field didn’t dry out until Friday morning.