Young players lead Seahawks to best finish since 2018

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

The last time Southside baseball or softball made the playoffs Donald Trump was President, red hair emojis were just released, and UMBC became the first 16 seed to beat a one seed in college basketball. This year, both teams made the playoffs, ending long droughts. Softball and baseball each had only two seniors graduate, so both coaches think the future is bright.

Kam Rouse, head coach of the Seahawks softball team, said Lily McLean is one of the best players he has seen in his 15 years of coaching. The third basemen hit the cover of the ball with a 571 average on the season. She also led the team in hits, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Rouse said McLean’s efforts made the team better and she still has two years left to compete. The freshman pitcher and catcher battery of Carolina Crisp and Savannah Silverthorne was also dynamic. Crisp had the lowest earned run average on the team, while Silverthorne hit .426 with a team-leading 22 runs batted in.

The Seahawks were the 26 seed in the 1A playoffs and traveled to Siler City, 20 minutes west of Asheboro, to play the seven seed, Chatham Charter. They pulled out a huge road upset and won 6-3. “When we scored first and held them to zero in the first inning, I knew we had a good chance of winning,” Rouse said. In the second round, the team lost to East Columbus 11-3 in Lake Waccamaw, finishing their season 9-12.

For baseball, the team had five freshmen starters and head coach Stanley Dixon believes the team can make a run in future seasons. They were led by seniors Walker Hill and Carson Edwards. Hill led the Seahawks with a 2.77 ERA and 18 RBI. Edwards led the team in runs scored (20) and finished second in RBI behind Hill (17).

Dixon said the team’s freshmen stepped up this year. He believes Taylor Ashley Luke Bullock, Salil Desai, Jackson Harding and Josh Lewis will continue to get better. “This team can make a run. If they continue working hard and building some muscle, they can go deep in the playoffs,” Dixon said.

They were the 28 seed and had to face Bear Grass in Williamston. The Seahawks led 11-8 in the 7th inning and needed three outs to pull an upset. The Bears rallied and scored four runs to survive the upset and move on. Despite the loss, Walker Hill said this game was the most fun he had in all of his high school games and the Seahawks finished 9-12.

Northside’s season ended in the third round for the second straight year in a 4-0 loss to #3 Voyager Academy in Durham. The sixth-seeded Panthers (19-5) managed only one hit from junior Jamie Corprew, but struck out just three times.

“It was just one of those nights,” coach Keith Boyd said. “Usually when you only get one hit, you strike out a bunch, but we just couldn’t find any holes. I’m proud of our guys for being back-to-back conference champions and making it back to the third round again.

Washington’s softball season ended with a third-round, 5-3, loss to #6 North Johnston. The third-seeded Pam Pack finished 18-6 after their first loss to a fellow 2A school.

WHS fell behind 5-1, then rallied for two runs in the sixth and had the tying run on third with one out after Ava Mizell tripled in the seventh, but couldn’t come any closer.

“North Johnston is a very good team and we couldn’t adjust to their pitcher,” coach Brad Horton said. “She kept us off balance all night and they made more plays than we did.”