Baseball and softball Raiders advance, soccer season ends
Published 7:01 pm Friday, May 13, 2022
The Pungo Christian Academy softball team advanced to the NCISAA 1A semi-finals, the baseball team moved on to the semi-finals, while the soccer season ended in the second round.
The second-seeded softball Raiders routed conference foe Ridgecroft of Ahoskie for the fourth time this season, 18-3, to raise their record to 18-1 and advance to the semi-finals Tuesday against #3 Halifax Academy (13-6) of Roanoke Rapids. PCA prevailed, 11-4, in an early season matchup.
The seventh-seeded baseball Raiders scored seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to an 18-4 second round victory over Southside Christian of Clayton.
Devin Cadle and Evan Woolard each had two hits as nine players combined for the Raiders 11 hits. Each scored three times and Woolard drove in four runs.
Cadle combined with Deacon Etheridge to scatter four hits and strike out eight batters as the Raiders (13-7) advanced to Saturday’s third round against second-seeded Grace of Sanford (18-3).
The sixth-seeded soccer Raiders ended the season with a 10-1 loss to defending 1A champion and third-seeded Greenfield (10-5) in Wilson.
The Raiders were able to strike when Katie Baxter sent a corner kick to the near post where Julia Rouse headed it in for a 1-1 tie. That would mark the only goal for the Raiders as the Knights would score nine more goals in the final 60 minutes. Senior keeper Audrey Gibbs had 27 saves on the evening as the Knights put almost 40 shots on goal.
PCA advanced with a 4-1 win over conference foe Lawrence Academy in the first round. It was the fifth meeting between the teams this season and Pungo won all five.
Rouse stole the ball from a Lawrence defender and chipped a shot in the back right corner of the goal to give the Raiders a 1-0 halftime lead.
Both teams started slow in the second half with neither team getting a shot on goal in the first 20 minutes. Katie Baxter ended the scoring drought with a hard shot right over the Warrior keeper giving the Raiders a 2-0 cushion. The Raiders added to their lead minutes later when Baxter sent a perfect cross to Rouse who netted her second goal for a 3-0 lead. Cora Blaine Noble scored the final goal.
“We knew today was going to be tough” coach Logan Van Staalduinen said. “Beating a team five times in one season is never easy and Lawrence plays a tough brand of soccer. Our girls were able to play through it and play through the cold and wind and pull out the win.”
The Raiders finished 12-6 in their inaugural season, after starting 1-4. They won 11 of their final 13 games on the way to conference regular season and tournament championships
“We had a terrific season overall,” Van Staalduinen said. “We had no real expectations going into this season, we were just going to work hard, have fun and see what happened. We could have gotten down on ourselves after a slow start but winning 11 of our last 13 is something to be proud of. The girls deserve all the credit in the world and we couldn’t have done it without our assistant coaches Wilson Sawyer and Brandon Paul. I hope that our soccer program will continue to grow and that we will continue to be at the top of the conference for years to come.”