MINT HILL, NC – The Lady Stallions from Queen’s Grant High School won their first ever softball conference championship with a 21-9 victory over Piedmont Community Charter. They are now the newly formed Metro Eight 1A Conference Champions. The teams overall record is 13-10, and finished 6-1 in their conference. They now await how they will seed in the NC West 1A state playoffs, and highly anticipated home playoff game.
This was a wild ball game, both teams scoring a total of 18 runs in the first two innings of the contest. The visiting Patriots jumped out front putting 3 runs on the scoreboard. The Stallions looked shaky defensively making 2 fielding errors, and a few mental mistakes tallying 3 unearned runs off of ace starter Abi Sawyers.
However, the Stallions bounced back in the bottom of the first inning scoring 8 runs of their own to take an 8-3 lead. After 5 consecutive walks on several 3-2 counts, the home team scored on a base hit by Katelynn Hartis for 2 ribbies, followed by some small ball and another solid base hit by senior team leader Natalie Megale.
In the second inning, the Patriots answered with 3 more runs of their own that included two miscues on the field, and some clutch hitting by Grace East, Julian East, and Abigale Harris to tighten the score to a slim 8-7 Stallion advantage.
But the Lady Stallions are a resilient group, and they manufactured 3 more runs of their own in the bottom frame to extend their lead to 11-7. Reagan Cowick and Alyssa Steele propelled the offense with key hits.
In the third frame, The Stallions and Sawyers settled into a rhythm and put down the Patriots in order along with a nice defensive play in the outfield. This is when the momentum switched in favor of the home team. The champs scored 7 runs with the big blow coming with the bases loaded, Steele stepped up to the plate, and drilled a rocket down the right field line past the diving right fielder. The ball skipped to the fence, and the race was on, with 3 runs already across the plate, Steele heading for home scored for an inside the park home run. The Stallions took an 18-7 lead, and with their ace now settled in, they took command of this ballgame, and won themselves a conference championship.
Katelynn Hartis went 3-4, 4 RBIs, Natalie Megale 2-2, 3 RBIs, Alyssa Steele 2-4, HR, 4 RBIs, Regan Cowick, 2-4, 3 RBIs, Sophie Stenmark 1-1, 3 RBIs, Liz Finter 1-2, 2 RBIs to lead the Stallions charge. While hurler Abi Sawyers pitched 5 innings allowing 4 earned runs, 10 hits, no walks, and 10 strikeouts.
Congratulations to head coach Don Nicholas and the Lady Stallions for their accomplishment.