Panthers blow away Pride to set up date with number-one seed

Published 7:35 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

GASTON — Northside continued its outstanding beginning to the NCHSAA 1A softball playoffs, dominating KIPP Pride in every aspect of the game on Saturday in Gaston, as the Panthers won 17-0 in five innings.

The star of the second round playoff game was Panther starting pitcher Madison Braddy. The sophomore completely neutralized Pride’s bats, throwing a perfect game. Braddy faced 15 batters on Saturday, striking out eleven of them. Braddy even got it done at the plate, hitting a triple.

While KIPP never recorded a hit or reached base on Saturday, that certainly wasn’t an issue for Northside. The Panthers racked up 17 hits in the game, while also drawing eight walks. Teagan Pilgreen had a strong night at the plate, hitting an inside-the-park home run, as well as a double. Rebekah Williams chipped in with a triple of her own. Northside coach Gil Robbins said the deep fences at KIPP’s home field helped the Panthers utilize their speed around the bases, leading to several extra-base hits and the inside-the-park home run.

Northside effectively put the game out of reach early. The Panthers scored six runs in the game’s opening inning, before putting up ten runs in the top of the second. Northside added a final run in the fourth.

The Panthers have now won two games in the playoffs, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 36-2. But Northside is about to encounter a much tougher opponent in the third round. The Panthers will face off against East Carteret, the number-one seed in the eastern bracket of the 1A playoffs.

“This is the one you measure yourself by,” Robbins said about playing East Carteret. “When you’re facing a team at the top of the league like that, it’s kind of like a championship game. This is the one that everybody says, ‘This is the one we have to get sooner or later.’ You have to go through them, whether it’s the third round or the last game.”

Northside travels to Beaufort today to play the Mariners at 6 p.m.