Pitching dominates as four county teams advance in state tournaments

Published 5:34 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

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The Northside and Southside baseball teams along with the Washington and Northside softball teams advanced to the third round of the state tournament with victories over the weekend.

Baseball: James Sawyer and Brandon Arthur pitched a combined one-hitter with 12 strikeouts as the third-seeded Panthers eliminated #19 Oxford Prep, 6-0, Saturday afternoon at home.

Sawyer went 4.2 innings without allowing a hit and fanned eight on 58 pitches. Arthur took the game from there and finished with a flourish by fanning the side to end the game.

“Our pitching was lights out again, which it’s been most of the season,” Northside coach Parker Boyd said. “We strung some hits together to score four runs in the fourth and that helped everybody relax.”

Ashton Willard, Trenton Allen and Griffin Johnson had two hits each for Northside (18-5) who hosts county rival Southside (11-9) Tuesday.
“Even though we won both games during the season, we’ll be 100 percent focused against them. They are coming in here to knock us out, so we need to be ready. It should be a lot of fun with a big home crowd.”

The #22 Seahawks are the Cinderella team after road wins against Ocracoke and Chatham Charter, 1-0, Friday. Both were higher seeds, but Southside scored the only run it needed in the sixth inning Friday on Taylor Ashley’s single that scored Gavin Cutler.

Sophomore Luke Bullock pitched a complete game one-hitter with five strikeouts and three walks.

“Luke kept them off balance all night and nobody really hit the ball with authority,” coach Jon Lohman said. “His defense made plays behind him and we managed to get a timely hit. These last two games have been true team efforts and we are excited to still be playing.”

Softball: The fifth seeded Washington Pam Pack advanced to Tuesday’s third round of the 2A tournament with a 9-2 home victory over #12 Heide Trask of Rocky Point Saturday afternoon at home.

Junior Emma Orr allowed just one hit in seven innings while striking out 12 and walking one.

“She was spot on today,” coach Brad Horton said. “Trask was hitting over .400 as a team and she just shut them down. Her speed was good and she worked low in the strike zone all day. She threw first pitch strikes to most of their batters and was really locked in.”

The Pack (18-3) sent 13 batters to the plate during a seven-run third inning that gave them control of the game. Every player in the batting order had at least one hit, while seniors Peyton Youmans and Mica Lilly, junior Addison Miller and Orr collected two. Orr hit her sixth home run of year in the sixth inning to set the final margin.

“Hitting is contagious and everybody contributed in the third inning,” Horton said. “We bunted for a hit, executed a squeeze play and had some extra base hits. That’s what to need to keep advancing.”
WHS travels to #4 Martin County Tuesday in the third round.

Northside started the local success with a 3-1 victory at #4 Pamlico Co. Thursday. The 13th seeded Panthers (17-4) travel to #5 Perquimans (20-8) Tuesday. The teams split two games during the regular season, each winning at home.
“It’s just like it was against Pamlico, even though we are the lower seed, we’re pretty much equal on the field,” coach Keith Boyd said. “We coming off our best game so far, so we’ll try to keep it going.”