East softball team hopes to make run, North opens with big win

With one big win, the East Davidson softball team got itself primed for a run into the postseason.

The Eagles blew out Central Davidson to earn a share of the Central Carolina Conference championship, then won the CCC tournament to earn the league’s No. 1 seed. East (16-7) will host High Point Andrews at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the 2-A state playoffs.

Head coach Amanda Akins thinks her team is ready to make some noise. “My girls right now are real confident,” Akins said. “They know they’ve been working hard at practice every day.

“That helped prepare for what we went through last Friday, and prepare for the state playoffs.”

Akins confessed she doesn’t know very much about Andrews (8-10), the No. 4 seed from the PAC-6.  But if the pitching duo of Haley Ray and Brooke Walser throw strikes, the Eagles play very solid defense behind them. And Natalie Naturile, Morgan Gallimore and company are capable of scoring runs in bunches.

“We should be all right, as long as we come out and hit the ball right from the beginning,” she added.

Elsewhere, South Davidson earned a wild card in the 1-A playoffs despite finishing with a 5-16 record. The Wildcats will travel to face Yadkin Valley Conference foe Chatham Central, which finished with a perfect 22-0 record.

Central Davidson (12-11) earned the CCC’s No. 2 seed, and the Spartans will host Ashe County (6-11), which finished third in the Mountain Valley Conference.

West Davidson (11-11) finished third in the CCC, and the Dragons travel to North Surry (13-6) to face the champions of the Northwest Conference.

Ledford (15-9), the Mid-Piedmont Conference’s No. 2 seed, will host North Iredell (13-6), the No. 3 seed from the North Piedmont Conference.

North Davidson (24-2) opened the 4-A playoffs Wednesday in Welcome with an easy 18-0 three-inning win over Page. The Knights, champions of the Central Piedmont Conference, wanted to play Thursday so they would not play at the same time as the baseball team. But the Pirates had a conflict with Thursday, forcing North to either play Wednesday or Friday. The Knights opted to play Wednesday, and blitzed the Pirates with 18 hits. Mackenzie Hauser tossed a one-hitter, striking out 10. Haley Cole, Haley Pace, Paige Wall, Casey Stanek and Sierra Vanzant all had two hits for the Knights, who will host the Ardrey Kell/Davie County winner at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“We got after ‘em pretty good,” North coach Mike Lambros said. “Mackenzie pitched extremely well, and we hit the ball well.”

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.