Softball heartbreak! Whiteville loses in 11th inning

A two-run homer by Alexa Sells was the key blow in North Stanly’s three run 11th inning that broke a 1-all tie that existed from the top of the fourth frame. Whiteville was able to score once in the bottom of the eleventh, but the tying run was stranded at second base.

A Santana Best single, Lauren Hilbourn sac bunt and Kourtney Grainger single gave the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. A double and two groundouts plated the tying run for North Stanly in the top of the fourth.

Ivy Hayes retired 18 of the next 20 Comet batters until the fateful 11th frame. Whiteville’s Elizabeth Wyatt, running for Hayes after she singled, advanced to third with two outs in the fourth , but was stranded. In the Wolfpack fifth, Laura Thompson drew a two-out walk. Thompson was out at the plate attempting to score on Kourtney Grainger’s double. North Stanly pitcher Merris Talbert retired the next 15 Whiteville batters before giving up the single run in the 11th.

North Stanly out hit the Wolfpack 13 to 7.  Neither team committed an error. Hayes and Talbert both went the distance for their teams. both struck out nine. Talbert walked two and Hayes just one. Hayes threw 135 pitches, 97 of those for strikes. Talbert threw 136 pitches and 93 strikes. Kourtney Grainger paced Whiteville with three hits.

The Wolfpack softball team earned its second 1A state runners-up finish in the last four seasons.