Beaufort County’s softball season preview

Published 3:41 pm Thursday, February 27, 2020

Spring is the season for the diamond. Last year, three softball teams from Beaufort County made a trip to the state playoffs and they look for a repeat performance in their 2020 campaigns.

Last season, Washington’s Lady Pam Pack compiled a 22-1 record en route to a fourth-round appearance in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association tournament where they fell to Eastern Randolph, 3-0.

They lost some pop in the lineup with the graduations of Sydney Keech, Summer Campbell, Lily Wright, Desiree Maurizzio and Macie Main, but have a good group returning.

This year, a solid senior corps in Emme Davis, Abbi Tucker, Pitt Community College signee Kaylee Elks, Ashley Cutler and Grace Paszt, will lead the Pam Pack into the 2020 season.

PAM PACK ACE: Washington’s Abbi Tucker fires a pitch last season. (Sean Finnerty | Daily News)

Tucker pitched 22 games last season for the Pack, earning 19 wins to just one loss. She had a 1.04 ERA with 173 strikeouts last season, and only issued 16 walks.

Davis is the top returning offensive threat. Last year, she earned a .453 batting average with 19 RBIs, 29 runs, seven doubles, two triples and six homeruns.

Head coach Doug Whitehead and his Pam Pack have won at least 15 games and gone to the playoffs every year since 2012.

Washington begins their season at Roanoke Rapids on Tuesday evening.

Northside’s Lady Panthers also made a trip to the postseason last year. They lost Amelia Woolard, Teagan Pilgreen and Logan Jefferson to graduation, but return six starters and pitching ace Kathleen Slade.

Last season the Panthers boasted a .367-team batting average with a .455 on base percentage. Pitchers had a team ERA of 2.12 to go along with a 16-5 record with a 12-0 conference mark.

The Panthers fell short to Vance Charter in the first round of the NCHSAA playoffs, and will be returning to the diamond with something to prove this season.

Head coach Eric Slade and the Lady Panthers kick off their season at home against Bertie on Tuesday evening, with first pitch set for 4 p.m.

Southside’s softball team got off to a 5-0 start last season, but injuries plagued the second half of the Seahawks’ season. There were no seniors on last year’s team, so everyone on the team will return. According to, Southside stole 114 bases through 18 games last year, averaging 6.33 stolen bases per game. Freshman Marah Gottwalt led the team with 23 stolen bases. The team also had a .401 batting average and an eye-popping .522 on-base percentage.

This year, the Seahawks have four seniors in Sarah Richardson, Shantel Cannon, Morgan Dixon and Mallory Nobles.

LETTING IT FLY: Southside’s Alexis Whitehead serves up a pitch to a South Creek batter in the Seahawks’ win over the Cougars in last year’s season finale. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)

Coach Kam Rouse and the Seahawks begin their season at Washington County on Tuesday evening.

Pungo Christian Academy is coming off of a Tarheel Independent Conference Championship and a trip to the 1-A NCISAA State Championship game, but fell to Cape Fear Christian Academy, 9-6.

The Lady Raiders graduated four seniors from last year’s team in Bell Noble, Emma Allen, Sidney Andrews and Emily Spencer.

As a team last year, they batted .426, with a .513 on base percentage, knocking out eight homeruns and swiping 49 bases.

Freshman Reagan Stoop led the team as an eighth grader last season with a .615 batting average, 25 RBIs and 37 runs, while eighth grader Melanie Rutledge batted .608 with 43 RBIs and five homeruns in her seventh grade campaign.

All four of Pungo’s pitchers return this year as well. Riley Cutler, Hannah Van Staalduinen, Parker Williams and Stoop will all try to propel the Lady Raiders into the state championship game for a second year in a row.

Seniors Josie Hudnell, Brandi Garrish, Ashley Spencer and Parker Williams will lead the Lady Raiders this year.

Pungo began their season Thursday night at Community Christian, and their home opener will be played on March 10 against Wilson Christian Academy.

It’s a brand new season, and all of Beaufort County’s team’s will have something to prove when they walk onto the field for the first time to compete in 2020.