For the first time, South Granville freshman Jordan Talley walked off the UNC-Greensboro field Friday night with a softball in her left hand. As is longtime Vikings custom, a player who homers in a game gets a game ball.
On Saturday, she’ll try to walk off with a championship plaque.
Her team is one step closer after winning Game 1 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A softball championships 3-0 over Parkwood High (25-3) of Union County.
Talley’s shot to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning made the lead 3-0 to give the Vikings some breathing room.
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“I knew it was rise-ball but I think she missed it,” Talley said.
South Granville had scored its first run on an RBI double from Megan White in the top of the first, driving in Emma Jones.
That White – last year’s MVP of the championship – and Talley – who had not homered all year – got the team’s RBIs is a perfect example of how this year’s group has meshed its experienced players with its newcomers.
“Sometimes our runs come from the strangest places,” South Granville coach Jackie Day said.
The Vikings’ Miranda Barker struck out five batters while picking up the two-hit victory. Parkwood’s Caroline Ruth struck out five Vikings batters and held the Vikings to their lowest run total of the year.
“She was a great pitcher. She kept us off-balance,” Day said.
South Granville (27-0) has won the last two championships and is going for the first three-peat in school history with a win Saturday. Game 2 is 2 p.m. and Game 3, if necessary, will depend on the 4A series.
If Cape Fear and North Davidson also go to Game 3, South Granville would play its Game 3 at 8 p.m. If North Davidson sweeps Cape Fear, South Granville’s Game 3 would start at 5 p.m.
But as Day noted: “Nobody wants to play a third game.”