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High school softball: West, East win playoff games on road

From staff reports

NCHSAA softball playoff seedings were mostly random draw in this shortened COVID season.

Conference champs were randomly placed 1 through 8 in the bracket, while the other eight qualifiers went in the bracket randomly at 9 through 16.

Still, No. 16 West Rowan routing No. 1 Crest 9-1 and No. 15 East Rowan pulling out a 1-0 win in extra innings against No. 2 Central Cabarrus in the 3A West bracket were big for local softball on Monday. It meant the teams that finished second and third in the North Piedmont Conference went on the road and beat teams that won their leagues.

West Rowan dominated the game in Boiling Springs behind senior pitcher Taylor Walton, who held Crest to one hit (a solo homer) and struck out 10 and walked one.

KK Dowling drove in a run for the Falcons in the first inning, and West led all the way.

Walton helped herself with a two-out, two-run single in the second.

Allison Ennis tripled and scored on a bunt by Kenadi Sproul to push the lead to 4-1.

Brooke Kennerly swatted a two-run homer as the Falcons pulled away.

West had 12 hits, with Dowling and Ennis getting three each.

Emma Clarke scored three runs.

West (11-2) will play at No. 8 Piedmont on Wednesday. Piedmont beat Kings Mountain 10-0.

•••

In Concord, East (8-4) scratched out a run in the eighth inning to beat the Vikings.

Haley Strange, East’s only senior, pitched the shutout.

“I don’t know how many she struck out, but I do know she couldn’t have pitched any better,” East coach Todd McNeely said.

In the top of the eighth, Tiffin Jacobs singled, moved to second on a passed ball and scored when she stole third and the throw got away.

“It was a stalemate up to then, so it was time to try something, to try to put some pressure on them,” McNeely said.

McNeely said the Mustangs were treated with a trip to What-A-Burger after the victory.

“I was the only Cherry Lemon Sun Drop,” McNeely reported. “The girls went for the Witch Doctors.”

Next for East is a trip to No. 7 Montgomery Central on Wednesday. Montgomery Central beat West Henderson 10-3.

•••

Carson’s home game with Marvin Ridge was rained out. Carson will play Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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