Bull­dogs earn sec­ond Bay­side ti­tle in three years

Times-Record - - Forever Champions - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— North Caro­line High’s soft­ball team strives to be strong from top to bot­tom, with any player ca­pa­ble of mak­ing any play at any time.

The Bull­dogs got an­other well-bal­anced game in the Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship on May 9, beat­ing Snow Hill 9-1, with five play­ers record­ing an RBI, and se­nior Brea Bishop pitch­ing a com­plete game with 11 strike­outs.

North Caro­line im­proved to 19-0 and will be the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A East Sec­tion II play­offs.

“We told the girls com­ing into this game that this was go­ing to be one where we needed ev­ery­thing from ev­ery­body,” Bull­dog head coach An­drea Ward said af­ter North Caro­line had won its sec­ond con­fer­ence ti­tle in three years. “That is what they did.

“We had girls in the dirt. We had girls catch­ing balls in foul ter­ri­tory that we didn’t think were catch­able,” Ward added. “We had all of our girls go­ing all out. That is all we can ask of them. The girls have been do­ing that all year. Ev­ery­one has been con­tribut­ing. I’m so proud of the team for what they have ac­com­plished. This is truly a spe­cial mo­ment.”

With bases loaded in the first in­ning, Sarah Mast belted a two-run sin­gle to right to give North Caro­line a 2-0 lead. Bishop (12-0) fol­lowed the half in­ning by strik­ing out all three bat­ters she faced.

“Sarah’s hit got the morale go­ing,” Ward said. “It started the bats. Fol­low­ing that, we got home runs and big hits from all over the lineup.”

In the third, Megan Rob­bins (2 for 3) tripled, then scored on a triple by Ken­dall Dixon (2 for 3) for a 3-0 lead.

Bishop (2 for 4) fol­lowed by blast­ing a two-run home run for a 5-0 lead. She added two more strike­outs on the rub­ber in the third, and al­lowed nothing in the fourth in­ning.

“Brea was dominate again,” Ward said. “She has come out this en­tire sea­son lead­ing this team in ev­ery­thing we ask of her. As a se­nior and as a cap­tain, I can­not ask much more of her be­cause she is a great leader.”

The hit­ting con­tin­ued in the top of the fifth with Mast (3 for 4) rip­ping an RBI dou­ble to left for a 6-0 lead. Abbi Trice’s RBI sin­gle in­creased the lead to 7-0.

Lauren Williamson fol­lowed by swat­ting a tworun homer for a 9-0 lead. Williamson’s homer was the first of her ca­reer, and she was in dis­be­lief as she rounded the bases.

“I think Lauren was more shocked than any of us,” Ward said. “We have been telling her she can hit the ball out, and she got it. It was great see­ing the joy in her face.”

The Ea­gles (15-4) scored their only run in the bot­tom of the fifth when se­nior Lau­rie Short ripped a solo home run to cen­ter field. Bishop though struck out the other three bat­ters in the in­ning.

Bishop scat­tered four hits over seven in­nings. Hai­ley Far­low took the loss for Snow Hill.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Caro­line’s Lauren Williamson re­turns to the dugout in dis­be­lief af­ter she hit a two-run home run in the Bull­dogs’ Bay­side Cham­pi­onship vic­tory over Snow Hill Tues­day, May 9.

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