Raiders win pair of conference titles

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022

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The top-ranked Pungo Christian Lady Raiders won their third straight Tar Heel Independent Conference tournament title to add to their regular season crown, while the first-year girls soccer team also claimed a crown.

PCA (17-1) rolled over Ridgecroft, 11-2 and Lawrence Academy, 10-0, to avenge their only loss. All 10 runs can in the third inning.

Stoop struck out 15 batters in the first game and six in the second to earn both pitching victories. She was named conference player of the year and the tournament’s most valuable player. Emma Hanna and Melanie Rutledge were named to the All-Conference team and the All-Tournament team along with Ginny Grace Pugh and Ella Kate Hanna.

“It was a true team effort. I’m proud of how hard the girls have worked the whole season,” Leigh Stoop, who was named coach of the year, said.

The Lady Raiders soccer team also claimed the league tournament title in their first year as a program with a 6-0 win over the Albemarle School and a 6-1 victory over Lawrence Academy.

Katie Baxter ad Cora Blaine Noble each notched hat tricks with three goals in the final. Bailey Hodges scored her first career goal against Albemarle, giving the Lady Raiders 12 different scorers for the season.

Baxter was named TIC Player of the year while Reagan Walker, Audrey Gibbs, Julia Rouse and Noble were all selected to the TIC All-Conference team.

 Baxter was also named TIC Tournament MVP while Audrey Gibbs, Sayla Brown, Noble, Destiney Midgette and Bailey Cox were selected to the All- Tournament team.

Raider Coach Logan Van Staalduinen was named TIC Coach of the year as the Lady Raiders finished 11-5 after a 1-4 start.

The baseball Raiders lost to Lawrence, 10-0, in Wednesday’s championship match to finish 12-7. The two shared the regular season title.

PCA advanced with a 15-4 win over Ridgecroft School on Tuesday. Devin Cadle went 2-5 with 3 RBI and Deacon Etheridge added two hits. Bo Spencer picked up the win on the mound, giving up no runs on one hit in two innings. All three were named to the All-Conference and All-Tournament teams.

All three Raider teams will be in action next week in the NCISAA State Playoffs. Soccer and baseball should be seeded in the top eight and receive a first round bye while Softball should be a top two seed.