High school softball: Five county teams win; SPC is very stout

Published 6:44 am Monday, March 27, 2023

By Mike London

SALISBURY — South Rowan has a good softball team and will almost certainly make the 3A playoffs.

Still, the young Raiders, who start eight sophomores and freshmen, may be only the fifth-best team in a stacked South Piedmont Conference.

West Rowan, Central Cabarrus, Carson and East Rowan all have more experienced squads than South.  All four of those teams might be in the top dozen in the western half of 3A.

Figure South to be somewhere in the top 20, but with some room to grow.

West’s Emma Clarke, a Tennessee commit, is one of the nation’s top junior sluggers, and the Falcons have a strong senior group led by Appalachian State signee Brooke Kennerly.

Carson has very quick USC Upstate signee Landry Stewart getting on base 59 percent of the time and scoring runs. Senior Lonna Addison is doing amazing things at the plate and in the circle, and senior Phoebe Cole is batting .533 and playing great.

East has a talented sophomore class that has been the core group for two straight Rowan Junior Lady Legion state championships.

West and Central Cabarrus are ranked highest by MaxPreps, but Carson got a big early win against West Rowan and East got a huge victory on Friday against Central Cabarrus.

It may be a free-for-all.

At the moment it’s Carson (5-0) and East (4-0) at the top of the league. Central (4-1) and West (3-1) are next. South is 2-2. Unlike SPC baseball, the bottom three probably don’t have the horses to knock off any of the top five.

Carson is facing one heck of a week to close out the March portion of its schedule — at East on Tuesday, Davie at home on Thursday and home against Central Cabarrus on Friday.

Another key matchup to keep an eye on is West at Central Cabarrus on Tuesday.

East’s next three are against  Carson, South and West.


Friday’s games:

East Rowan 2, Central Cabarrus 1

Eleni Miller pitched four strong innings, and Camryn Perkins relieved and got the Mustangs out of a two-on, no-outs jam in the fifth.

East, 8-2 overall, was able to scratch out two runs. Kady Collins got on base and stole second. Bunts by Lily Kluttz and Myah Sifford got her home.

Chloe Shank got on base. Kimberly Troublefield ran for her and stole second. Maddie Roberts singled on the 10th pitch of a super at-bat, and Troublefield scored on a close play at the plate.

“And great defense at all positions,” East coach Todd McNeely said.


West Rowan 19, Lake Norman Charter 3, 5 innings

The Falcons enjoyed a five-run first and a seven-run fourth.

Clarke didn’t get one out of the park, but had a double and a triple. Kennerly, Ashlee Ennis and Madelyn VonCanon all stayed hot at the plate.

Twenty-four hours earlier, the Falcons had battled to an 8-all tie with Davie. That game was stopped after 12 innings.


South Rowan 20, Concord 0, 5 innings

The Raiders, 7-3 overall, had two eight-run innings to wipe out the Spiders.

Carmen Thomas, Lexie Ritchie, Meghan Eagle, Kynlee Dextraze and Avery Fisher homered for the Raiders.

Thomas and Dextraze drove in three runs each.

Ritchie pitched a five-inning no hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks.


Carson 10, NW Cabarrus 0

Carson, 6-3 overall, won easily, scoring three runs in the first and five in the second.

Addison, a Lees-McRae signee, struck out 14 while allowing one hit and no walks.

Addison had three hits. Cole, Celia Sifford and Peyton Hollar had two hits each.

Sifford and Madison Clark had two RBIs.

Carson is being coached by former West Rowan and Western Carolina standout Hunter Gibbons.


Salisbury 3, East Davidson 1

Salisbury (4-4, 2-1) got a good Central Carolina Conference win behind the pitching of Furman commit Katie Peeler.

Peeler struck out nine, walked two and allowed five hits.

Peeler, who is batting .565, had the only RBI for the Hornets.

Peeler, Ashley Yang, Tja’Lyza Walker, Jayla Robertson and Tijah Sims, who is batting on base at an amazing rate, had hits for the Hornets, who are coached by former Catawba star Leah Huggins.