Megan White said the biggest hit of her career came on a ball that looked like a big meatball.
The freshman first baseman hit a one-out double off the center-field wall in the 11th inning, scoring Savannah Tilley from first and giving South Granville a 2-1 win over Forbush before an overflow crowd in the opener of their best-of-3 series for the state 2A softball championship.
Game 2 is Saturday at 11 a.m. today at N.C. State’s Dail Stadium, with the rubber match at 5 p.m. if Forbush evens the series.
South Granville (24-2), which was state runner-up in 2013, is looking for its eighth state title and first since 1998.
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“Full count, I was just thinking ‘Don’t chase anything outside the zone,’” White said. “I wanted a solid hit on the ground, and I knew it could go through and score her (Tilley). Fortunately, (the center fielder) didn’t catch it. It was kind of an inside ball that came in flat.”
The Falcons (27-1), who have won four state titles, defeated South Granville for the 2002 title and the first of three straight championships. The result snapped the Falcons’ 22-game winning streak.
“It’s about getting that break in extra innings,” Vikings coach Jackie Day said. “We had runners on in just about every inning and you’ve got to score those, but Forbush has a great team and they’re going to keep you from doing that. Megan got a pitch that was about thigh-high and she stayed up on it.”
South is on a seven-game winning streak. The Vikings’ only two losses this season have been to Bunn, but they made the state title series by sweeping the best-of-3 with their Northern Carolina conference rivals 6-4 and 5-0.
“It was a great game by both pitchers,” Forbush coach Jeremy Helton said. “Sydney (Miller) threw an excellent game, she dug in, she was a bulldog tonight. We had great defense to back her up, we made great plays in the field to really back her up.”
South pitcher Miranda Barker (24-2) went the whole way for her 23rd complete game, allowing 10 hits while striking out seven against three walks.
“We had to fight a lot,” Barker said. “I didn’t know anything about their team. I’ve never gone this many innings (for South Granville), but I think I’ve pitched seven games in two days in a tournament before. It means a lot to win the first one. It takes some pressure off.”
Miller (24-2) also had a complete game, allowing nine hits and striking out three with three walks.
Erin Boone had three hits including a double for South Granville.
“I just knew I needed to get on base, and they could move me around, which they did,” Tilley said of her hit in the 11th. “When the ball came off the bat I knew I’d better get my horses on, because coach Day was going to send me.”.
Marissa Lineberry and Logan Wood led Forbush with two hits each.