Lady Raiders three-peat

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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PCA Athletics

The Pungo Christian Academy girls soccer team claimed its third Tar Heel Independent Conference championship in its third year with a soccer team, with a 1-0 victory over Ridgecroft School. Despite beating the Lady Rams twice earlier in the season by a combined score of 14 – 2, Ridgecroft held Pungo scoreless through the first half. In the second, both teams continued to struggle to find the back of the net as each keeper made fantastic saves to keep the game scoreless.

Julia Rouse changed everything when her shot from just outside the 18 sailed into the back right corner of for the game’s only goal.

Rouse was named tournament MVP, while Katie Baxter, Reagan Walker and Autumn Gibbs were named to the All-Tournament team. Rouse, Walker, Gibbs, Sayla Brown and AvaHaiyes Cox were named to the All-Conference team and Baxter was named TIC Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.

Pungo is the #2 seed in the NCISAA state 1A tournament and host the winner of #7 Kerr Vance Academy and unseeded North Hills Christian Wednesday in Belhaven.

Baseball: The Raiders fell to Lawrence Academy, 5-3 in the conference tournament championship game. Lawrence had shut out the Raiders in both regular season matchups.

PCA advanced to the title tilt for the third straight year with a thrilling, 9-8 come from behind victory over Ridgecroft, who scored four runs in the first inning.

The Raiders rallied to tie, 5-5, but the Rams answered with two runs for a 7-5 lead.
Evan Woolard hit a two run triple to tie in the seventh, but Ridgecroft regained the lead with a run in the eighth. Rylan Bowie made a dazzling catch in right field to end the inning with two runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the eight, the Raiders loaded the bases thanks to a single from Luke Alligood, McKinney Waters getting hit by pitch and Bowie laying down a perfect bunt, setting up leadoff batter Parker Byrd with a chance to walk off the game. Byrd did just that with a single to right field.

Woolard, Bowie and Bo Spencer were all named to the All-Tournament team while Woolard, Spencer, Byrd and Carr Eagles made the All- Conference Team.

PCA is the 4th seed in the NCISAA 1A Baseball tournament and will host 5th seed Cape Fear Christian Academy Thursday.

Softball: The Lady Raiders faced the Lady Rams of Ridgecroft School in the TIC tournament and led 4 – 0 in the third before the Rams scored two to make it 4 – 2. PCA added runs in the 5th and 6th before Ridgecroft attempted a comeback in the final inning, but the Lady Raiders held on to win 6 – 4. Emma Hanna and Joelie Pair each had two hits, while Anna Stoop struck out one and allowed five hits in the circle.

Pungo faced Lawrence Academy for the championship. The Warriors scored 13 runs in three innings for a 13-2 victory. Henley Gibbs, Anna Stoop, Savannah Pence and Bristol Cutrell all had hits for PCA in the loss. Emma Hanna, EllaKate Hanna, Melanie Rutledge and Lily Keech were named to the All-Conference team while the Hanna sisters and Rutledge were named to the All-Tournament team.

PCA is the 7th seed in the NCISAA Division III state softball tournament and will host unseeded Fayetteville Christian Wednesday. With a win, the Lady Raiders would travel to #2 seed Wayne Christian on Saturday. Wayne Christian defeated Pungo earlier in the year, 5 – 2.