NPC Softball Final: North Iredell 5, East Rowan 2
By Jordan Honeycutt
CHINA GROVE ó It was evident fairly early which team came to play Friday in the NPC softball championship game ó and that team was the Raiders of North Iredell who left victorious, 5-2.
This is significant, not only because the win is a conference championship, but also itís the first time that North Iredell has beaten East Rowan since the two each joined the NPC.
ěWe lost to them and to Chelsea (White) in two really close games this year and we were very prepared today,î said North Iredell coach Lauren Gaither. ěAnd we tried to wear her down early and were able to get to her.î
The Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead on East Rowanís star hurler and that turned out to be more than enough for their own ace Karley Harkey.
Harkey mowed down Mustang hitters like a John Deere and even contributed at the plate with an RBI sacrifice fly and a double on which she scored.
ěThis win means a lot to me and us as a team because we know that by beating Chelsea,î said Harkey. ěWe beat them at their best and if we can beat East, then we feel that we can beat anyone.î
It wasnít just White though, as the Mustangs could not get into any kind of rhythm and made errors on routine plays that they usually complete with ease.
The Mustangs also committed a very uncharacteristic four errors.
East coach Mike Waddell hopes his team learns from the loss.
ěWe got really rattled and we just simply cannot have a game like this next week,î Waddell said. ěAnd I hope the girls get hungry and this lights a fire in them a bit.î
White did her best to redeem herself at the plate as she doubled and tripled but the Mustangs could not get anyone on base ahead of her in those key situations.
ěWe didnít come out here prepared today at all and they were more aggressive than us.î said White. ě We just need to learn from this and be better for the playoffs.î
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