High school softball: West pounds Cougars, will play Central Cabarrus for championship

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

From staff reports

CHINA GROVE — Kenadi Sproul disrupted, Emma Clarke erupted and West Rowan’s softball team beat Carson 10-0 in a surprising romp in the South Piedmont Conference Tournament semifinals.

The six-inning wipeout wasn’t expected at all because West won 7-6 at Carson a week ago.

Second-seeded West (18-4) didn’t leave much doubt, scoring in the first inning on a Kenadi Sproul walk and steal followed by Emma Clarke’s double — and never letting off the gas.

West’s freshman pitcher Arabelle Shulenberger quieted some good Carson hitters. She only struck out three, but she didn’t walk a batter and the Falcons turned in a flawless defensive effort. Shulenberger allowed four hits, including Makayla Johnson’s double to start the game.

Carson had three straight singles to start the top of the third, but West center fielder Ashlee Ennis threw out a runner at the plate for the first out. That took a lot out of the Cougars, and Shulenberger shut them down after that.

Sproul caused havoc in the third inning. After she walked to open the inning, she stole second. Carson pitched around Clarke with a base open, but then Sproul stole third, while Clarke stole second. Sproul scored on a passed ball, with Clarke moving to third. Brooke Kennerly’s sac fly made it 3-0.

Taylor got one of her three hits in the fourth inning and scored on Ennis’ triple for a 4-0 lead. Clarke’s home run to left made it 6-0.

West got three more in the fifth when Sproul’s double scored Keller and Ennis. Sproul was able to dash home on Clarke’s sac fly — to the second baseman.

EA Nance’s single and Karsen Simpson’s double put the Falcons in position to win via the 10-run rule in the sixth, and Madelyn VonCanon’s groundball shortstop got the job done.

Phoebe Cole took the loss for the Cougars (12-11). Johnson had two hits.

West will play top-seeded Central Cabarrus (19-4) at 6 p.m.at Carson on Thursday for the championship.

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CHINA GROVE — Central Cabarrus beat fifth-seeded South Rowan 11-0 in five innings.

South had upset East Rowan in the first round, but wasn’t able to stay with the Vikings.

Central’s Brantleigh Parrott pitched a perfect game. It was 15 up and 15 down for the Raiders.

Parrott struck out 13.  She also had three hits.

Lacey Coubal went 3-for-3 with five RBIs. She hit two homers and brought the game to an early end in the fifth with her second blast.

Abby Ragan also went deep for the Vikings.

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THOMASVILLE — Salisbury came close to a colossal upset on Tuesday, but a 10-9 loss to West Davidson is expected to end the Hornets’ season.

Top-seeded West Davidson jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the Central Carolina Conference semifinal, but the Hornets scored four in the sixth to get back into it and tied the game with three in the top of the seventh on Caroline Cozart’s two-run single and a clutch hit by Xaniyah Price.

West Davidson (12-11) scored in the bottom of the seventh to win.

Salisbury pitcher Katie Peeler struck out 11.

Cozart scored twice for the fourth-seeded Hornets (8-13) and knocked in three runs.

Peeler, Price and Autumn Walser had two hits. Ashley Yang scored two runs, while Mallory Link doubled and drove in two.

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