Wolfpack edge Bruins in extras

In softball, the only score that matters is when the final out is recorded. For eight innings, the Whiteville softball team either trailed or was tied with the Camden County Bruins. Kourtney Grainger’s home run, leading off the ninth, gave the visiting Wolfpack its first lead. Whiteville kept the Bruins off the board in the bottom of the ninth to bring home a 5-4 second round 1A East playoff win.

Grainger singled and Sage McLelland double in the top of the first for Whiteville, but were stranded. A Bruin single and double provided the home team a 1-0 advantage after one frame. A Raeganne Sholar, error and Santana Best single went for naught in the Wolfpack second. Camden increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth with a two-out triple following a single.

Grainger was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fifth. Sage McLelland followed with a home run to left field, tying the score at two. A Camden two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth moved the Bruins back in front 4-2.

Bre Tolley walked to open the Whiteville sixth. Tolley was forced at second on Sholar’s grounder. Gabby Hayes singled. Santana Best’s single scored Sholar. Laura Thompson’s single scored Elizabeth Wyatt (running for Gabby Hayes) to tie the score at four apiece.

Pitcher Ivy Hayes and the Whiteville defense retired 12 of the final 13 Camden batters. It was truly a team effort as Hayes recorded just one strikeout during the game, but induced 17 fly ball outs.

Grainger led off the Wolfpack ninth. She connected on the first pitch from Bruin reliever Brittany Mansfield for a solo home run to left, giving Whiteville its first lead at 5-4. Whiteville catcher Lauren Hilbourn wiped out a lead off walk with an accurate throw on a steal attempt for the first out in the bottom of the ninth. A pop up and ground out ended the contest, sending Whiteville into the third round.

Sage McLelland had three hits for Whiteville. Laura Thompson, Santana Best and Kourtney Grainger contributed two hits. Ivy Hayes, Raeganne Sholar and Gabby Hayes added one.

Whiteville (19-5) faced East Columbus (19-3) for the third time this season Wednesday. The Gators won the two regular season meetings 11-10 and 6-2.