Cougars to clash with Trask

Published 8:39 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SC SB Reina Mondragon NS 13 web
With its 2-0 victory over Southside in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs South Creek has advanced to the East Regional round of the playoffs where the No. 3-seeded Cougars (21-4, Four Rivers) will take on Tri-County Conference No. 1 seed Heide Trask (20-1).
In past year’s the regional round of the playoffs has been played at Walnut Creek, but last season the NCHSAA decided to do a best of three series with the higher seed getting home field advantage.
The series will begin tonight at Trask at 7 p.m. and will be continued on Friday at 6 p.m. at South Creek. Should there be a third game, it will be played at Trask on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Armed with one of the best pitching tandems in the area in Lauren Sitterson and Taylor Moore, the Cougars are well equipped for a three-game series and enter the showdown with Trask red hot.
After playing a string of win-or-go-home games, South Creek coach Patrick Herring said he welcomes a three-game series.
“It will feel really good to have just a little breathing room,” Herring said. “If some things don’t work out in the first game you can make some tweaks and fix things for the next game.
“We’re really fortunate that we have two pitchers we can rely on. If one is struggling the other one can come in and pick the other one up.”
South Creek began the playoffs with two straight shutouts as it thumped Gates County 17-0 then moved on to down Franklin Academy 9-0. In the third round the Cougars edged past Perquimans 4-3 before they topped Southside 2-0 on Tuesday.
While South Creek’s pitching has been magnificent, it’s hitting has been nearly as good. Leadoff hitter Reina Mondragon has been a sparkplug for the Cougars, who have benefited from a host of contributors.
“The top of our lineup has been good. Anytime you can get your leadoff hitter on base usually good things will happen,” Herring said. “We need Reina Mondragon to get on base and put the ball and play and have the girls behind her get her in. I’ve told them we don’t need home runs, we just have to be able to keep advancing the lead runner.”