South Granville is headed back to the N.C. High School Athletic Association softball state championship series following a 10-0 six inning home victory on Saturday morning against Eastern Randolph in the East regional final.
The win gave South Granville a two-game sweep of Eastern Randolph. The Vikings won Game 1 by a 9-1 score.
The Vikings got off to a hot start, scoring seven runs on nine hits in the first two innings.
Head coach Jackie Day said, “It’s always good to score first and then keep stacking them up.”
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South Granville put three runs on the board in the first inning, getting it done on six singles.
In the top of the second, Miranda Barker hit a three-run home run to center in the second to put her club up 6-0 and Megan White followed that up with a solo shot to left.
“I was scared that I was going to be tired after last night’s game,” said White. “But when we came out, I didn’t feel any of it. The adrenaline was pumping.”
White added another home run, this time a two-run blast, once again to left in the sixth.
Barker picked up where she left off Friday night on the mound, allowing no runs on four hits while striking out five. Day said that he left it up to Barker as to whether she wanted to pitch on less than 24-hours notice and that he wasn’t worried about her decision to start, knowing she throws 10-20 pitches below the average.
South Granville will be looking for their third straight state championship, although this one may come with an undefeated record. White, a junior who has been part of the previous two title teams, said there’s more pressure to stay undefeated than get the three-peat.
“We can lose one and still get the three-peat,” she said.
Day doesn’t believe there is much pressure either way, saying, “You can’t worry about what’s going to happen. We just have to play our game.”
South Granville has certainly played their game thus far in the playoffs. They’ve outscored opponents 57-12 in six games, including three shutouts.
In the two-game series against East Randolph, South Granville gave up eight hits and outscored the Wildats 19-1. Day feels that his team is peaking at the right time heading into the finals against Parkwood and credited his senior leaders for stepping up early in the season.
“We had some mishaps at the beginning of the season, but that was youth and inexperience,” said Day. “Our leadership had a lot to do with turning it around. We have four freshman starters and they respond to what they are told. If you hang out with and play with good athletes, you’re gonna be a good athlete.”
South Granville 10, Eastern Randolph 0
Pitcher and Catcher. Eastern Randolph—Tori Maness and Marion Goins. South Granville—Miranda Barker and Megan White W—Miranda Barker. L—Tori Maness. Leading hitters—Eastern Randolph: Haley Kearns 2-3; South Granville—Megan White 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBIs; Miranda Barker 2-4, HR, 4 RBI.
Records—Eastern Randolph 20-9, 9-1 PAC 6. South Granville 26-0, 14-0 Northern Carolina.