High school softball: Mustangs advance in SPC tourney

Published 10:42 pm Monday, May 1, 2023



Staff report

GEANITE QUARRY — Homers are flying at an unprecedented rate in Rowan County softball games.

Carson’s Lonna Addison has whacked eight. Salisbury’s Katie Peeler has smacked seven. West Rowan’s Emma Clarke, who broke some records with 13 homers in 2022, has been walked a ton this season. She still has launched seven — in only 50 official at-bats.

North Rowan’s Chloee Stoner and South Rowan’s Kynlee Dextraze also have swatted more than their share.

East Rowan sophomore Chloe Shank has hit more than anyone. She walloped her eighth and ninth homers of the season on Monday as the Mustangs romped against South Rowan 11-1 in five innings in the first round of the South Piedmont Conference Tournament.

Shank didn’t care who was throwing. She hit a homer off both of South’s pitchers.

East lost to South last week, 6-5 in eight innings, with the game ending abruptly in mind-boggling fashion. East had two on with no outs in the bottom of the eighth when a fly ball to left fielder Danica Krieg suddenly became a game-ending triple play. Mustangs were thrown out at home, and then at third base, as they tried to advance.

Fourth-seeded East (14-7) was ready for Monday’s rematch and used 14 hits and six walks to pound the fifth-seeded Raiders (13-9).

South took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Lexie Ritchie’s single scored Bailey Yon, but Mustangs answered with a six-run bottom of the third to take control.

Kori Miller had three hits for East. Myah Sifford had two hits and drove in three runs. Jordan Dry and Maddie Roberts had doubles. Lily Kluttz ended the game via the 10-run rule with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth.

Seven different Mustangs scored, and East batters only struck out once.

East pitcher Camryn Perkins struck out five, walked none and limited the Raiders to four hits.

Next for East is top-seeded West Rowan in a semifinal. That game will be played in Mount Ulla at about 6:30 p.m. as the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader.

West won 7-4 and 9-7 against the Mustangs in the regular season.

South’s season is not over. The Raiders are 23rd in the 3A West RPI rankings and should easily make the 32-team playoff bracket.