South Granville’s season series with Bunn closed with each club claiming two victories – but with the Lady Vikings winning the outings that mattered the most.
Unshaken by a pair of regular season losses to Bunn, South Granville swept the Ladycats in the Eastern Regional finals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A softball playoffs.
The Lady Vikes took Tuesday’s opener in the best-of-3 series 6-4 before finishing the job with a 5-0 decision on Thursday at home.
South Granville’s formula Thursday night was old school in its precision as the Lady Vikings utilized strong pitching and defense to go with a three-run homer from Abbi Colclough in the bottom of the third inning.
That was more than enough offensive support for ace Miranda Barker, who stifled the Ladycats on just three hits while striking out six and walking none. South Granville didn’t commit an error behind Barker despite the fact that Bunn hit 11 infield grounders that were promptly turned into outs.
“We hit the ball a little bit, scored some runs and had some good pitching,” South Granville coach Jackie Day said. “We just played our game. When you don’t make errors, you can usually get good results.”
South Granville will carry a 23-2 record into next week’s best-of-3 finals against Franklin or Forbush as the Lady Vikings will seek their eighth state championship in program history. Both of South Granville’s regular-season losses came against Bunn, but Day’s club didn’t lack confidence heading into the regional rematch.
“We just had to play loose,” Day said. “You can’t go out there and be tight and expect to win. We had some things go our way this year, and we had things that didn’t go our way. But our mental focus was tougher.”
South Granville took the lead for good on Mackenzie Coley’s solo homer to right-center field with two outs in the second. The Lady Vikings put together another rally in the third and scored on Hunter Mundy’s two-out, RBI double.
Following a walk to Megan White, Colclough ripped a pitch far beyond the fence to straightaway center for a three-run blast.
Barker allowed just one baserunner the rest of the way, including a four-pitch effort to retire a trio of batters in the sixth.
Bunn (21-3), in its third final four appearance in school history and the first since 2007, eight hits and scored four runs in the series opener, but couldn’t sustain that offensive momentum on Thursday.