Headed into Tuesday night’s third round game of the NCHSAA 2A Softball playoffs at South Granville, Midway knew the mountain to climb was a tall one. One look at the outfield banner showcased the dynasty that is South Granville softball and the 2018 Lady Vikings made it clear their goal was to maintain the tradition.
South Granville made quick work of the Lady Raiders, using an explosive second inning to put Midway away 13-0.
Things looked promising for Midway after one inning as each team was held to a 0-0 draw. The second inning, however, was a completely different story.
The Lady Vikings unleashed a hit barrage that truly devastated Midway’s hopes.
Aided by a three-run home run and nonstop hits into the gaps of the Lady Raiders defense, South Granville batted around and took a towering 9-0 lead.
The Lady Raiders just simply didn’t have any answers at the plate.
Midway’s best opportunity to put a run on the board and avoid the shut out came in the top of the fourth. Blythe Best and Hannah Lucas each got a pair of hits then took second and third on a passed ball. Alyssa Wrench joined them on he bases with a 2-out walk but the Lady Vikings secured a strikeout to end the threat.
From there it was all South Granville as they soared to the 13-0 victory.
After the game, Midway head coach Leigh Anne Smith applauded her teams effort, even in loss.
“We didn’t play bad ball. There was just no answer for their hitting. We had a game plan that I thought we executed but they were just hitting the ball well and right into holes,” Smith stated.
South Granville finished with an impressive 13 hits.
For Midway, tonight’s loss puts them into uncharted territory as they were held scoreless for the first time all season. The 13 runs allowed is also the second most runs scored on them this season and the most since the Triton moss all the way back at the beginning of March.
Midway did manage to pick up a pair of hits, both of which were credited to senior Blythe Best. Lucas’ hit in the fourth was charged as an error.
With the loss, Midway finishes 18-6 overall and 11-1 in East Central Conference play in which they were champions.
Four seniors, Leah Williams, Abby Baggett, Lucas and Best each have played their final game as Midway Raiders. Smith reflected on these seniors and has nothing but high marks for them.
“This senior class is different. I don’t know that I’ve been as close to or have respected a senior class as much as I have this one. I trusted this group of four girls. Frequently I leaned on them to make a decision or to help me make a decision,” she said.
“They are all unique in their own way in that Leah is the quiet, keep-it-all-bottled-in type player. Hannah and Blythe are the always bubbly, smiling, positive kind of players and Abby is my sassy, tell-it-like-it-is player. But, they are all assets that this team needed and they are going to be missed,” she concluded.
The Lady Raiders, however, should reload next year. Even though they lose these four seniors they also return some key players eager to repeat the successes of the 2018 season.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.