High school softball: East’s run ends in Round 4

Published 1:41 am Monday, May 20, 2024


Staff report

KINGS MOUNTAIN — East Rowan’s stellar softball season ended on Friday with a 1-0 loss to Kings Mountain in the fourth round of the 3A state playoffs.

Freshman Madi Tigert pitched another brilliant game for the Mustangs, holding undefeated Kings Mountain to four hits and striking out five, but the Mountaineers (22-0) scored the only run of the game on an infield hit in the bottom of the seventh.

Second-seeded Kings Mountain advanced to the regional championship series against Oak Grove or Piedmont. Oak Grove and Piedmont are scheduled to play on Monday.

Third-seeded East (23-4), which had won two 1-0 games in the playoffs, couldn’t put the ball in play often against Kings Mountain pitcher Maddie Huffman. She struck out 14 and limited the Mustangs to four hits.

Both teams endured a weather delay, as a downpour stopped play for more than 30 minutes.

East had a lead-off hit in the seventh and moved the runner into scoring position, but couldn’t break through.

In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Kings Mountain’s Kayla McSwain flared a hit and stretched it into a double on a close play at second base.

An intentional walk followed. Then another walk loaded the bases.

Pinch-hitter Desirae Thombs put a ball in play on the third pitch she saw, a hard ground ball that East first baseman Eleni Miller was able to smother, but McSwain scored the deciding run.

East posted the most wins for the program since the Mustangs were 25-4 in 2011. East won its first conference championship since 2013 and also won the South Piedmont Conference Tournament.