High school softball: East wins tourney

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

Staff report

GRANITE QUARRY — Chloe Shank’s three-run homer in the first inning sparked East Rowan to a 9-0 win against West Rowan in the championship game of the South Piedmont Conference Tournament on Thursday.

Coach Todd McNeely’s Mustangs hit the Falcons with a barrage of early hits and scored six times in the first inning to take charge.

Lily Kluttz went 4-for-4 for the top-seeded Mustangs (20-3), while Kori Miller went 3-for-4.

Madi Tigert was the winning pitcher, as East beat the third-seeded Falcons (19-7) for the third time and added another trophy to their first regular-season championship since 2013.

Seven different Mustangs had hits. Five had RBIs.

East had legends Chelsea White, who holds most of the county pitching records, and Ericka Nesbitt, the shortstop for four straight East conference champs from 2008-11, on hand to throw out the first pitch.

East is fourth in the 3A West RPI rankings, so the Mustangs will start the playoffs at home on Tuesday. They’ll find out who their opponent will be when the NCHSAA releases brackets and seeds on Monday.

West Rowan will also be at home on Tuesday. The Falcons are ninth in the 3A West RPI rankings.

Central Cabarrus was an automatic qualifier for the 3A playoffs, along with East and West.

Northwest Cabarrus and South Rowan are expected to make the 32-team 3A West bracket as at-large teams