AREA ROUNDUP: Knights top University Christian in 1-A boys tennis opener

From staff reports
Posted 5/7/19
A dominant showing in singles propelled Greenfield past visiting University Christian of Hickory, 6-3, in the first round of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A boys …

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AREA ROUNDUP: Knights top University Christian in 1-A boys tennis opener

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A dominant showing in singles propelled Greenfield past visiting University Christian of Hickory, 6-3, in the first round of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A boys tennis dual-team playoffs Tuesday.

The Knights (7-4) will travel to Charlotte on Thursday to face No. 6-seeded Woodlawn School (9-2) while University Christian ended its season at 5-5.

McGuire Metts, Cabell Metts, Frankie Peele and Amz Hoffner each won in straight sets on the first four singles courts. Will Powell, playing at No. 5 for the Knights, dropped his first set 6-2 to Henry Winfield before rebounding to win the second set 6-3. Powell then gritted out a 12-10 win in the third-set tiebreaker to clinch the match for the Knights.

The Metts’ brothers won at No. 1 for Greenfield’s only doubles win.



McGuire Metts (G) def. Jay Sowers 7-5, 6-3; Cabell Metts (G) def. Wyatt Sain 6-2, 6-0; Frankie Peele (G) def. Baylor Texer 6-4, 6-2; Amz Hoffner (G) def. Brodie Ham 6-2, 6-3; Will Powell (G) def. Henry Winfield 2-6, 6-3, (12-10); Phillip Wilson (UC) def. Carter Peele 6-4, 6-1.

Metts-Metts (G) def. Sowers-Sain 8-4; Texer-Ham (UC) def. F. Peele-Hoffner 8-2; Winfield-Wilson (UC) def. Powell-Hayden McLamb 9-7.



Gossett hat trick powers WCA win

Sophomore Lea Gossett punched in three goals as the Wilson Christian girls soccer team blanked Gospel Light Christian of Walkertown in the first round of the North Carolina Christian Schools Association 2-A playoffs Tuesday.

The Lady Chargers, seeded No. 1 in the East Region, rose to 12-4-1 in their final match at home. Wilson Christian will face West No. 2 Lexington Union Grove in Friday’s semifinals at 4 p.m. at Bethel Christian in Kinston. Gospel Light, No. 4 from the West, concluded its season 4-8-1.

Gossett connected on her first goal on a pass from Lydia Renfrow after the first 24 minutes were scoreless. Ashley Hartsfield made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal five minutes later before Gossett struck again in the 30th minute with Kayla Tant on the assist.

The 3-0 lead stood until the 67th minute when senior Skylar Pone finished a pass from Lindsay Hunter, who then fed Gossett in the 72nd minute to complete her hat trick.

The Lady Chargers outshot Gospel Light 16-1 with WCA senior goalkeeper Christy Jones stopping the one shot.

Wilson Christian head coach Don Samson doesn’t want look past Union Grove but feels pretty good his team can reach its third straight NCCSA 2-A championship game. The Lady Chargers defeated Alamance Christian in the 2017 final before losing to the Lady Warriors in the championship match last spring.

“I don’t know that much about Union Grove but I think the way that we’re playing, as long as we stay healthy, I think we have a shot to really take a shot at the championship,” he said.


Six-run third fuels Lady Bruins’ win

YANCEYVILLE — A Beddingfield High varsity softball roster dominated by underclassmen isn’t quite ready for its season to end just yet.

With the aid of a six-run third inning, the Lady Bruins overcame an early deficit and left the would-be tying run stranded at third base in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night to hold on for a 6-5 win over Yanceyville Bartlett Yancey in the opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.

Trailing 2-0 in the third, Beddingfield (12-6), the No. 24 seed in the 32-team East region, took the lead for keeps on an RBI double from senior Karissa Hayes, a two-run double by freshman Abby Edmundson and a run-scoring single by freshman Emilie Moss.

Bartlett Yancey, which won the Mid-State Conference title with an unbeaten 12-0 showing, had its season ended at 17-2. The Buccaneers climbed to within 6-5 on a bases-clearing single by Brianna Andrews in the third, but could get no closer.

Beddingfield’s defense committed just one error and left the tying run at third in the seventh inning. After a fly ball to freshman Brilyn Honeycutt in right field, Bartlett Yancey doubled and moved the tying run to third on a sacrifice bunt. However, the game ended with a pop out to Moss for the final out.

Sophomore Neleh Bottoms picked up the win for the Lady Bruins, pitching the distance and allowing five hits. She struck out nine and walked five. Rylie Webster was saddled with the loss for Bartlett Yancey, allowing five hits over her seven inning of work. Webster struck out six, but walked eight.

Moss was 2 for 3 for Beddingfield with a run batted in. Next for the Lady Bruins will be a trip to Richlands, the No. 8 seed, on either Thursday or Friday. Richlands knocked out No. 25 Goldsboro 3-1 in other first-round action Tuesday.

Score by innings:

Beddingfield 006 000 0 6

Bartlett Yancey 023 000 0 5

WP-Neleh Bottoms 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 9 SO. LP-Rylie Webster 7 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 8 BB, 6 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — Beddingfield: Karissa Hayes 1-3, 2B, RBI, Abby Edmundson 1-2, 2 RBI, Emilie Moss 2-3, RBI; Bartlett Yancey 1-3, 2B, Lindsey Proctor 1-3, RBI, Brianna Andrews 1-2, 3 RBI.

Bases-filled walk ends Hunt’s season

MOREHEAD CITY — A bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth inning spoiled visiting Hunt High’s upset bid in the opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs Tuesday night.

West Carteret, the No. 7 seed among 32 East Region qualifiers and the Coastal Conference champion, escaped 2-1 against the No. 26 Lady Warriors, No. 3 from the Big East Conference.

Pitchers Brittany Glover of Hunt and Ashley Caldwell waged a scoreless duel until the Lady Patriots struck for their first run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Hunt pulled even in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Amber Walston singled and wound up at third on junior Bri Tucker’s double. Walston came home on freshman Madison Mercer’s infield grounder.

Against Glover, in the sixth, West Carteret loaded the bases on a pair of hit batters and a single. Right-hander Skylar Yarolin relieved Glover, a senior,

Shortstop Tucker fielded a grounder and threw out the base runner at the plate for the second out to keep the score at 1-1. But on a three balls, two strikes pitch, Yarolin issued the walk.

“But I still felt good,” commented Hunt head coach Miguel Hall. “We had the top of the lineup (Tucker, Mercer and Faith Matthews) come up in the seventh.”

The Lady Warriors dealt with immediate controversy. The Hunt delegation was convinced Tucker slammed a home run to left field in the first inning. However, the home-plate umpire ruled “foul ball.”

“That was heartbreaking,” Hall lamented.

Hunt’s head coach was pleased his team cast aside internal issues and played sharp softball its last two games.

“We came together,” Hall added. “If we had done that all season, there’s no telling where we might be.”

Hunt exited with a 10-10 record and careers ended for seniors Glover, Hannah Williams, Allison Matthews and Sarah Bunn.

“Defensively, we did a great job,” Hall noted, “but we left a lot (11) on base.”

Score by innings:

Hunt 000 010 0 1

West Carteret 000 101 x 2

WP-Ashley Caldwell 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO. LP-Brittany Glover 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — Hunt: Bri Tucker 2-4, Hannah Williams 2-4; West Carteret: Barnes 1-2, RBI.

Cooper’s walk-off single sends Ladybirds to 2nd round

STANHOPE — Its third rally of the game proved to be the last one Southern Nash needed in a 5-4 win over Union Pines in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A softball playoffs Tuesday.

Sophomore Kierstin Cooper pitched two scoreless innings of relief and singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to propel the host Ladybirds to their 18th win against four losses. Southern Nash, seeded No. 8 in the 3-A East Region and champions of the Big East Conference,  will host No. 9 Harnett Central, an 8-5 winner over Franklinton on Tuesday, in the second round. 

Union Pines, the No. 25 seed and fourth-place team from the Tri-County Conference, ended 12-11.

The host Ladybirds, trailed 4-0 going to the bottom of the fifth inning. But an RBI single by Taylor Bailey and a two-run single off the bat of Carrigan Ewers breathed new life into Southern Nash.

Trailing 4-3, the Ladybirds tied the score on freshman Alexa Daniel’s two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, freshman Quianna Moore stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball before trotting home on Cooper’s walk-off single.

Score by innings:

Union Pines 000 130 0 4

Southern Nash 000 031 1 0

North Johnston dominates Lady Nighthawks

KENLY — The North Johnston High varsity softball team slapped 12 hits to knock out visiting First Flight 15-2 in Tuesday’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A first-round playoff matchup.

The Lady Panthers (18-5), the No. 3 seed in the 2-A East Region, exploded in the third inning for eight runs, capped by Lindsey Massengill’s 2-run triple and Blayke Batten’s two-run home run. Batten and Arial Pearce each went 2 for 3 with three runs batted in. Pearce also slapped a double.

Senior Amberlynn Pearce started and pitched four innings, allowing four hits, one walk and no runs while striking out eight batters. Sophomore Taylor Jones pitched her first game since a quad injury sidelined her for a month. 

The Lady Panthers will welcome No. 14 Bertie on Thursday at 6 p.m. 

Score by innings:

First Flight 000 02 2

North Johnston 238 2X 15

WP-Amberlynn Pearce 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO. LP-Emma Richards 4 IP, 12 H, 15 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — North Johnston: Blayke Batten 2-3, HR, 3 RBIs; Lindsey Massengill 1-3, 3B, 2 RBIs; Arial Pearce 2-3, 2B, 3 RBIs. First Flight: Jaylan Ulmer 1-3; Jaylin Fisher 3-3, 2 2B; Logan Jeffrey 1-2.

Lady Rams down ECC rival South Lenoir

DEEP RUN — After losing both regular-season games to 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference rival South Lenoir, Greene Central won the game that mattered most with a 13-7 defeat of the Lady Blue Devils in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs.

Freshman Amber Speight had the big bat for the Lady Rams (12-7), seeded No. 22 in the 2-A East Region, as they pounded out 15 hits off two South Lenoir (10-7) pitchers. Speight was 4 for 5 with a double and three RBIs while Abby Burress was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Daly Keel tripled and plated a pair of runs for the Lady Rams, who finished fourth in the ECC while South Lenoir, the 11th seed, finished second.

Laura Wade went the distance in the pitching circle to get the win for Greene Central, which will visit No. 6 Currituck County in the second round.

Score by innings:

Greene Central 303 430 0 13

South Lenoir 221 200 0 7

WP-Laura Wade 7 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO. LP-Logan Lucas 3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.

LEADING HITTERS — Greene Central: Amber Speight 4-5, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBIs; Abby Burress 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBIs; Daly Keel 1-3, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBIs; Katelin Uzzell 2-5, 2 R; Madison Holloman 2-4. South Lenoir: Kenly Hardison 1-3, 2 RBIs; Allie Parker 2-4, 2 R; Sara Beth Stroud 2-5, 2 R.


Big inning, triple play send WCA into NCCSA 2-A semis

All the early momentum appeared to be cascading away from the reigning North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A champions in the second inning of Tuesday’s NCCSA 2-A quarterfinal with Greensboro Vandalia Christian.

With Wilson Christian already trailing 1-0, Vandalia put runners on first and second with no one out.

Then, the momentum play happened.

Senior right-hander Brice Murray recorded a strikeout; then a pickoff throw caught the Vandalia runner between second and third. In the commotion, Vandalia’s trail runner found himself in his own pickle, and Wilson Christian applied the tag there for a rare triple play.

The Chargers promptly tied the game in the third inning, and a seven-run third was the impetus for WCA’s eventual 12-2 victory in six innings.

Now at 16-3, Wilson Christian, the No. 1 seed from the East, faces Ramseur Faith Christian, the No. 2 seed from the West, in Friday’s semifinal at Kinston Bethel Christian. Vandalia Christian, the No. 4 seed from the West, concluded at 4-10.

Purveyors of a 15-hit attack, Wilson Christian’s seven-fourth was fueled by a two-run single by senior Zack Denmark and an RBI single by junior Gabe Barnes. Eighth grader Hunter Lewis, who was 4 for 5, had a two-run double to end the game in the sixth via the 10-run rule.

Freshman Dylan Farmer and senior Zack Denmark were each 3 for 3. Another senior, Adrian DeHart, was 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs.

Murray, a right-hander, held Vandalia to two hits through five innings in a winning effort, yielding an unearned run in the first. Glen Bailey was tagged with the loss for Vandalia.

Wilson Christian loaded the bases in each of the first four innings before breaking through in the fourth. The Chargers added two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to induce the mercy rule.

Skylar Dark drove in a run for Vandalia.

Score by innings:

Vandalia Chr. 100 001 2

Wilson Chr. 001 722 12

WP-Brice Murray 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO. LP-Glen Bailey.

LEADING HITTERS — Wilson Christian: Gabe Barnes 2-4, RBI, Adrian DeHart 2-4, 2 RBI, Hunter Lewis 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, Dylan Farmer 3-3, RBI, Zach Denmark 3-3, 3 RBI; Vandalia Christian: Skylar Dark 1-3, RBI.

Panthers’ late runs knock out North Pitt

KENLY — The North Johnston varsity baseball team took down North Pitt at home Tuesday in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A first-round playoff game, 9-1.

The No. 12-seeded Panthers (21-3) beat their 2-A Eastern Plains Conference foe, the No. 21 Panthers (16-9), for the third time in seven days. 

North Johnston got a big punch from the bottom of the lineup as Daylan Hinnant, Llmar Ramirez and Garrison Radford — the Nos. 6, 7 and 8 hitters in the lineup — went a combined 7 for 11 with two doubles and seven runs batted in. Ty Narron was also 1 for 3 with a double and RBI. The victorious Panthers scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth inning after going down 1-0 in the top of the fifth.

Starting pitcher Avery Pearce went 5 2/3 innings for North Johnston. Pearce allowed two hits, one earned run and five walks while striking out five batters. Dylan Pitts came into the sixth inning with two outs to get a three-pitch strikeout on North Pitt’s top hitter Jacob Peedin with the bases loaded to earn a hold. Seth Coates closed out the seventh inning.

North Johnston will now make a trip to Barco to play No. 5 Currituck County. North Johnston head coach Brian Ford said No. 1 starter Pitts will start on the mound. 

Score by innings:

North Pitt 000 010 0 1

North Johnston 000 063 X 9

WP-Avery Pearce 5 2/3, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO. LP- Jacob Peedin 4 1/3, IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 SO. 

LEADING HITTERS — North Johnston: Llmar Ramirez 3-4, 3 RBIs; Daylan Hinnant 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Garrison Radford 2-3, 2B, RBI; Ty Narron 1-3, 2B, RBI; Nate Clifton 1-2, 2B.  


WCA follows loss with draw

FUQUAY-VARINA — A day after a 2-0 loss at Hilltop Christian on Monday in Fuquay-Varina, the Wilson Christian girls soccer team settled for a 2-2 draw against visiting Rocky Mount Academy on Tuesday.

Seventh-grader Ava Hazboun broke a scoreless tie with a goal early in the second half to give the Lady Chargers (3-9-1) the lead against RMA. Wilson Christian got its second goal from eighth-grader Kate Hoskins later in the half.

Goalkeeper Melia Hughes had six saves while Han Nguyen and Lexie Webb led the Lady Chargers’ defensive effort.

Hughes had eight saves in Monday’s loss for Wilson Christian, which couldn’t generate a goal despite attempts on frame by Chloe Villaverde, Bri Lottle and Hoskins.