Panthers moving onPublished 12:15am Wednesday, May 14, 2014
By DAVID CUCCHIARA
Washington Daily News
PINETOWN – The No. 1 team in Class 1-A, the Northside Panthers, are moving on after a 13-0 win over Columbia in the first round of the state playoffs.
The Wildcats entered Tuesday’s matchup as clear underdogs after a sixth-place finish in the Coastal Ten Conference and a less-than-stellar 5-10 record. On the other hand, Northside entered with 11 players flaunting batting averages over the .300 mark, a statistic that identifies them as the most dangerous lineup in the tournament.
With a 17-1 record, ace Kelsey Lang’s 1.14 ERA and full arsenal of off-speed pitches has also contributed to one of the best seasons in school history. On Tuesday, Lang enjoyed her most dominant performance to date, striking out seven and allowing just one base runner. Of course, due to the dynamic offense, Lang pitched just five innings, the 11th time this season the 10-run mercy rule has prevented her from going the distance.
The other Lang, Rachel, played a major role in her team’s offensive output, finishing 3-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. The standout freshman is third on her team in batting with a .458 average. Kelsey also joined her sister with two hits of her own at the plate.
Sophomore MacKensi Swain’s base knock extended her hitting streak to nine games, while sophomore Kendall Alligood extended her hit streak to six.
Northside picks up its 20th win of the season and will face Rosewood in the second round of the state playoffs. The Eagles, who finished fourth in the Carolina Conference, are coming off a huge 10-0-win over Perquimans in the first round. They enter with a 10-5 record.