Hunter Mundy carried the biggest bat in the house on Saturday afternoon, and it was enough to help South Granville hoist a state championship trophy.
Mundy hit a two-run homer in the third inning and a solo in the sixth, lifting the Vikings to a 4-3 victory over Forbush for the 2A softball championship at N.C. State’s Dail Stadium.
The win gave the Vikings the best-of-3 series in just two games. South Granville had beaten the Falcons 2-1 in 11 innings on Friday night.
The Vikings – the visiting team in Saturday’s contest – had finished second in the state tournament two seasons ago, and the six players including Mundy who were still around from that squad had long memories.
“It’s not like Hunter hasn’t done it before. And she’s one of the loosest ones in the crowd,” said South coach Jackie Day, who is in his fifth year at the helm and has been with the program since 1998. “We had six here today who had played two years ago, and they didn’t want to feel like (Forbush) did today. (The Vikings) were a great team and weren’t going to let that happen.”
South finished 25-2, finishing the season on an eight-game winning streak in claiming its eighth state title and first since 1998.
“That was an awesome experience,” said Mundy, who had 11 homers this season and was named the state championship MVP. “My first home run (in the third) was a high, inside fastball and I knew I had that one. On the second (in the sixth) I thought I had popped it up. When I saw it go out I just couldn’t believe I had hit it that hard.”
Sophomore Miranda Barker (25-2) fired her 24th complete game of the season, allowing six hits and striking out five with no walks.
“It was hot, but it didn’t affect me much,” Barker said. “I was kind of sore from last night, but you’ve got to push through it. I just tried not to think about the situation too much. It feels really good because you know you worked your butt off and it was worth it.”
Forbush’s junior Sydney Miller (24-3) also pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks. The Falcons, who defeated South for the title in 2002, finished 27-3.
“We’ve been saying all year, ‘One team, one goal’ – that’s been our motto and I still believe that,” Forbush coach Jeremy Helton said. “I know we didn’t achieve our goal. But you know what? We’ve got another opportunity to keep that same motto next year and bottle up all these emotions and these tears.”
Erin Boone and Megan White each singled twice for the Vikings.
South scored in the first as leadoff hitter Boone singled to right, advanced on Savannah Tilley’s bunt and scored when White singled.
“I know what it feels like to finish second, and I’m so thankful I feel like this today!” said Boone, the left-handed, Lenoir-Rhyne-bound second baseman who was 5-for-7 in the two games. “We’re so thankful for our team and Coach Day. We’re a big family, and this is just a great day for us.”
The lead went to 3-0 in the third as Boone hit a one-out single and scored when Mundy hit her first two-out pitch just over the left-field wall and just inside the foul pole.
Forbush got a two-run homer from Allison Mitchell in the bottom of the inning.
Mundy led off the sixth by blasting a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left center to make it 4-2. Mitchell reached on an error and scored on Taylor Wooten’s one-out single to make it 4-3 in the bottom of the frame, but Barker got a strikeout with two on and then sat the Falcons down 1-2-3 in the seventh to end it.
Boone and catcher Karlee Michalina were South Granville’s only two seniors.
“I asked Erin last night if she was nervous, and she said ‘No, not really,’” said Michalina, who will play volleyball for Meredith in the fall. “I think we were just a lot more confident than we were two years ago, and we were mentally prepared and knew what it takes.”