Teenagers have better things to do with their lives than to be at school after hours. There’s homework that needs to be completed, and with exams coming up, studying to be done.
After the work, there is plenty of socializing to go around, or just about anything to be done that doesn’t involve being at school. No. 2 Heritage freed up the rest of their Tuesday night by taking care of business on the softball field, knocking off No. 23 Apex Friendship 12-2 in five innings in the third round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.
The win means the Huskies (18-2) will return home on Friday, hosting the winner of No. 3 Holly Springs/No. 6 Panther Creek contest.
Heritage was done so early they could have almost made the trip to scout the rest of that contest in person.
The Huskies exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth and scored at least two runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, after going scoreless in the first.
“We started warmups a little flat,” Lindsey Dorn said. “After that we realized that we really had to get in the game, so we did our best after that and it turned out for the best at the end.”
It was Dorn who got things started for Heritage, hitting a two-run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the second. Dorn noticed the Patriots were playing close and she took that as a personal challenge. She knew all she had to do was knock it over their heads and she would have a chance to bring in Ava Imposimato. Dorn knocked it over the heads of the outfielders and the ball kept going until it landed behind the fence.
“I just went up and hit it hard,” Dorn said. “Everyone got excited after that. “Everyone was really into the game on the field and in the dugout after that.”
The scoring outburst that Dorn started continued in the bottom of the third when Cydney Johnson and Karlee Harrington hit back-to-back RBIs to make it 4-0. Apex Friendship (9-10) pulled to within two runs after Kendall Johnson drove in two runs with a single, but the Huskies scored three in the fourth - consecutive RBIs from Kennedy Priest and Ashley Gontram - and really poured it on in the fifth, smelling blood in the water with a 10-run rule within reach.
“Five, six or seven runs are not enough for us,” Heritage coach Jessica Furlough said. “We want to make sure we get out there and score as many as we can.”
The Huskies started the fifth with back-to-back singles from Karlee Harrington and Imposimato and Dorn drew a walk, loading the bases for Heritage. Harrington was thrown out at second, but McKenna Glascock welcomed in new pitcher Natalie Gill with a two-run single to make it 9-2. Priest scored on a passed ball, Raygan Rensing drove in a run with a single and the Huskies ended Apex Friendship’s season, scoring on another passed ball, ending the game early.
Rensing got the win for Heritage, giving up just five hits and striking out two. Getting off the field early gets the team off their feet, but also saves some arms for the next round.
“Anytime we can keep them under a certain amount of pitches it saves the arms and we don’t have to use them,” Furlough said. “We have an incredible duo and anytime we don’t have to play those extra innings, it saves about 40 pitches. That’s good for us in the next game.”
And the team can go out and enjoy their Tuesday since they took care of business on the field quickly.
“Tomorrow we will have a tough practice,” Dorn said. “But we’ll go out and eat together, it’s a fun time where we can just relax and not focus on the game, just have some team bonding.”
Pitcher Patrick Trease leads Golden Hawks to big playoff win
HOLLY SPRINGS – At Holly Springs, the Golden Hawks define baseball success by more than reaching the post-season. They expect deep tournament runs.
Holly Springs has amended for last year’s early exit by advancing to the fourth round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A tournament behind an 11-strikeout performance from senior pitcher Patrick Trease. The Golden Hawks beat Cardinal Gibbons 6-1 in Tuesday night’s third-round game on their home field with a sign proclaiming their 2011 state title hanging over the right field fence.
“It feels good after we lost in the second round last year,” said Trease, who was pulled after 6 2/3 innings for pitch-count reasons. “We have high expectations here. We’ve been motivated to make up for last year.”
Last year’s loss was especially painful as the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye.
They began their bounce-back season winning the Southwest Wake Conference title to earn the No. 4 seed. The win over Gibbons (16-9) improved to the Hawks to 20-5 with a first-round bye and an 11-0 win over No. 13 seed Wilmington Ashley.
Holly Springs plays at home again on Friday, thanks to No. 8-seed Heritage upsetting top seed New Bern, 11-4.
Trease was dominant from the start, mixing his slider and off-speed pitches. He struck out the side to open the game and the first five batters before a ball was put into play with a ground out to shortstop.
“We fed off Trease,” Holly Springs coach Rod Whitesell said. “He was brilliant on the mound. He pitched well all night. He’s a competitive. Our kids took that mentality with him.”
Senior shortstop Matt Willadsen came on to face the final batter, recording a 12th team strikeout for the night. He also contributed at the plate with a double and a triple.
No. 8 Heritage 11, No. 1 New Bern 4
No. 4 Holly Springs 6, No. 5 Cardinal Gibbons 1
No. 3 Corinth Holders 16, No. 6 Laney 4
No. 2 Jordan 4, No. 10 Garner 0
No. 1 New Hanover 7, No. 8 Southeast Guildford 1
No. 4 Terry Sanford 14, No. 12 Hunt 4
No. 3 Fike 4, No. 6 Southern Lee 1
No. 2 D.H. Conley 3, No. 7 Jacksonville 0
No. 16 East Bladen 13, No. 9 NCSSM 0
No. 4 Washington 5, No. 12 North Johnston 2
No. Randleman 3, No. 3 Whiteville 2
No. 7 Bunn 2, No. 2 Ledford 0
No. 1 Riverside-Martin 6, No. 9 Granville Central 2
No. 5 Bear Grass Charter 1, No. 4 Falls Lake Academy 0
No. 3 Edenton 4, No. 6 West Columbus 2
No. 2 Rosewood 7, No. 7 East Carteret 6
No. 1 South Central 10, No. 8 Jack Britt 3
No. 4 Hoggard 6, No. 5 South View 4
No. 1 D.H Conley 5, No. 9 Harnett Central 1
No. 5 Southern Alamance 6, No. 4 Topsail 3
No. 6 Cleveland 3, No. 3 Cape Fear 1
No. 10 Cedar Ridge 14, No. 2 Eastern Alamance 0
No. 1 Washington 16, No. 8 Richlands 1
No. 4 Eastern Randolph 4, No. 21 Providence Grove 3
No. 3 North Johnston 4, No. 6 Currituck County 3
No. 2 South Granville 5, No. 7 Whiteville 0
No. 1 Camden County 5, No. 9 Perquimans 1
No. 12 Vance Charter 11, No. 4 East Columbus 5
No. 3 Louisburg 6, No. 11 Rosewood 0
No. 2 Princeton 12, No. 10 Riverside-Martin 1