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Seeds, pairings released for state playoffs

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s undefeated girls soccer team (21-0) earned the coveted No. 1 seed in the 2A West bracket. There had been projections last week that placed the Hornets as low as No. 3.

The Hornets’ top seeding was the highlight as brackets were released by the NCHSAA for the state playoffs in baseball and softball, as well as girls soccer, on Monday.

The first round is set for Wednesday in all three sports. Teams had the option of playing Tuesday if it was agreed on by both teams. SHS coach Matt Parrish said his team would have preferred a Tuesday game, but he didn’t see the pairings himself until Monday afternoon, and it was too late to get anything worked out for Tuesday at that point. So Salisbury will take on on No. 32 Patton (6-9-5) at Ludwig Stadium at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

South Rowan is seeded No. 17 in the 2A West bracket and just missed a first-round home game. The Raiders (16-6) will travel to Marshville to play Forest Hills (8-9-1) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

If South can win at Forest Hills, it probably will mean a third meeting with Salisbury in the second round. The Hornets have beaten the Raiders 4-1 and 2-1 in tough matches.

Carson (12-6) is seeded 25th in the 3A West bracket, lower than projections, and will travel to Asheville to play No. 8 A.C. Reynolds (18-1-2). The Rockets were undefeated most of the season.

Seeded 29th, A.L. Brown (5-12) will make a long trip to No. 4 T.C. Roberson (16-4-1) for a 3A matchup.

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In baseball, fifth-seeded Carson (21-5) and 28th-seeded West Rowan will meet for the third time in the first round of the 3A playoffs. They’ll play in China Grove at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Carson battered West 13-0 and 9-0 in their meetings in the regular season. Carson is rolling and has won 20 of its last 22 games. Carson pitchers Owen White (South Carolina) and Maddux Holshouser (UNC Greensboro) are both 8-1 and have nearly invisible ERAs. Luke Barringer has slugged six homers, while White is batting .350 with 21 RBIs.

It’s been a struggle lately for the Falcons (12-12), who have dropped their last three outings. Mykal Berger is batting .347, but West’s team batting average is a meager .234 and the Falcons have committed 83 errors.

East Rowan (18-7) will play at 6 p.m. at Staton Field against Tuscola (14-9), a mountain school from Waynesville. East swept Tuscola in the regional championship series in 2010 on its way to the 3A state championship.

Neither team boasts the power it did in those days, but East has gotten huge offensive seasons from Hayden Setzer (.417, 4 homers, 35 runs scored) and Wayne Mize (6 homers, 38 RBIs). Setzer also is the ace pitcher for the Mustangs and is 6-1 with a 1.72 ERA.

In 2A, Salisbury (15-10) is seeded 22nd and will play at No. 11 Bandys (20-4). Despite 10 losses, Salisbury is a dangerous team, especially when ace Jack Fisher (7-2) is on the mound. The Hornets have beaten Ledford and North Davidson this season. That game is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

South Rowan (10-13) missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2009. North Rowan (9-13) missed the playoffs in 1A, where only 24 teams qualify.

Davie County (10-11) got the No. 18 seed in 4A and will play tonight at No. 15 Richmond County (17-7) in the first round.

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In softball, surging Carson (16-6) will play at home in the 3A playoffs at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Belmont Stuart Cramer (16-8). Pitcher Rylie Stewart has been outstanding for the Cougars, while Katie Jewell (.451, 4 homers, 24 RBIs), Kary Hales (.471) and Kaitlyn Honeycutt (.412) have been hot at the plate.

West Rowan, seeded ninth, plays at home on Wednesday in the 3A playoffs at 6 p.m. The ninth-seeded Falcons (17-6) will take on No. 24 seed Asheville A.C. Reynolds (11-7). West has pounded 25 homers. Mary Sobataka (.435, 9 homers, 29 RBIs), Taylor Walton (.444, 7 homers, 32 RBIs), Parker Greene (.423, 4 homers, 23 RBIs) and Alexandra Linder (.406, 31 runs scored) lead the Falcons’ sluggers.

Seeded 23rd in the 3A playoffs, East Rowan (12-12) will play at No. 10 Cox Mill at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kaitlyn Samples (.387, 22 RBIs), Mackenzie Sprinkle (.446, 21 RBIs) and Haley Strange (.323, 21 RBIs) are driving in runs for the Mustangs. Maddie Trexler is batting .427 and has scored 23 runs.

South Rowan (16-9), seeded 17th, heads to the Forest City area to play No. 16 East Rutherford (15-7) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Brooke Lowery (.492, 20 RBIs), Summer McKeon (.434, 7 homers) and pitcher Whitley Arnott  (10 wins, 164 strikeouts) lead the Raiders.

A.L. Brown (8-13) made the 3A bracket as the No. 25 seed and plays at No. 8 seed Marvin Ridge (18-4).

Davie County (15-9) is seeded seventh in the 4A West bracket and gets a first-round bye. Mooresville (20-4), seeded third, also has a first-round bye.

In 1A, Gray Stone (8-10) got  a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed.

The second round of the playoffs is scheduled for Saturday, although teams may opt to move games up to Friday.

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