• 57°

Prep Softball: West Rowan falls to Cox Mill, 5-1

West Rowan softball

James Sipes/for the Salisbury Post
West Rowan’s Ava Link rounds first base and heads toward second for a double during Friday night’s high school softball game against Cox Mill in Mount Ulla. Cox Mill won, 5-1. March 24, 2017.

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

MOUNT ULLA — Through four innings, Cox Mill had bruised some softballs but had nothing to show for it.

But the Chargers didn’t get frustrated, and that was the key to Friday’s 5-1 South Piedmont Conference road win at West Rowan.

“West’s pitcher (Hannah Roberts) has a lot of movement and she was doing a very good job of keeping the ball away from our power,” Cox Mill coach Holly Harris said. “When we did hit balls hard, they were making some unbelievable defensive stops.”

West’s defense, anchored by shortstop Mary Sobataka, was stout early on, and Sobataka gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when her oppposite-field single to right drove in leadoff batter Alexandra Linder.

“They were pitching me outside,” Sobataka said. “I knew I needed to go with the pitch, and I did.”

Roberts made that 1-0 lead stand up a long time, but Cox Mill’s Claudia Riddle singled to start the fifth, one of her three hits. Bailey Johnston’s double tied the game, and No. 9 batter Kayla Smith smacked the tie-breaking, two-run double to right that put the Chargers on top, 3-1.

“Cox Mill has got a lot of good hitters,” Sobataka said. “We knew we’d have to play really good defense to stop them.”

Cox Mill added a run in the sixth inning when Paysia Reed boomed a double to the right-center gap and Johnston delivered another clutch hit, stroking a single through the left side for a 4-1 lead.

West freshman Tori Hester relieved Roberts and got the last two outs in the sixth.

West (5-2, 5-2 SPC) had a chance to break through against Cox Mill’s sophomore hurler Madison Michael in the bottom of the sixth. The Falcons loaded the bases with two out, and Hester whacked a ball hard up the middle, but the Chargers smoothly handled the 6-4 force play, and a sliding Hannah Pratt was out in a close play at second base.

Cox Mill tacked on another run in the seventh inning on another double by Smith and a smash to left by Cameron Shaffner for a 5-1 cushion.

Michael only struck out three, but she made the Falcons swing the bats and the defense was sharp behind her.

“Michael is a sophomore who acts like a senior,” Harris said. “She’s a commander out there.”

Camryn Nooner hammered a long flyball to center in the bottom of the seventh, but Michael got the Falcons out 1-2-3, and the Chargers (8-1, 7-1 SPC) owned the victory.

“Our youth showed up a lot in our hitting tonight,” West coach Jimmy Greene said. “She was pitching us away to start, and then working in. We needed to just stay calm and hit the ball the other way, but we were getting too excited. We didn’t have very good at-bats.”

Cox Mill stayed tied with Central Cabarrus for first place.

“Cox Mill is pretty dang solid,” Greene said.

Cox Mill’s only league loss was to Central Cabarrus. West beat Central — badly — but that’s the dog-eat-dog nature of the SPC, where at least eight teams are dangerous.

“You have to respect every team in this league, or you’ll get beat,” Harris said. “West has a great team, and this is a good win for us.”

Cox Mill    000  031  1  — 5   10  0

W. Rowan  100  000 0   — 1  6   2

W — Michael. L — Roberts.

Leading hitters — Cox Mill: Riddle 3-for-3. West: Sobataka 2-for-3.

 

Comments

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide