MINT HILL, NC – The Queen’s Grant High School Lady Fastpitch Softball team experienced their first winning season with a 10-4 record during the regular season. Unfortunately, in the school’s first game in the state playoffs, the Number 13 Seed Stallions played against the Number 4 Alleghany Trojans, who had their best hurler, Division 1 pitcher Kenzi Lyall, heading to Appalachian State University on the mound for the contest.
The Trojan senior consistently tossed the ball at over 65 mph, while baffling the Lady Stallions with her fastball and rise ball. Lyall, who is a first-team All-Conference and All-State pitcher, shut down the Stallions allowing no runs, one hit, and one walk while striking out 12 batters in the ballgame.
The Stallions only managed two base runners in the entire game: the first-inning walk to freshman Kayla Purdy, and a solid base hit by sophomore Sydney Reynolds. Meanwhile, freshman Abi Sawyers started the game for the Stallions pitching 4 1/3 innings giving up 5 earned runs on 7 hits while walking 3 with 2 strikeouts recorded. She was relieved by freshman Kayla Purdy with a score 8-0 who faced 5 batters before eventually giving up 2 runs to end the ballgame. The Stallions did not have their best defensive performance of the season making 5 errors, which did not help their pitchers, who needed to have their best outings of the season on the mound to beat Lyall and the Lady Trojans.
The Stallions enjoyed their most successful softball season in school history under coach Don Nicholas. The team won 10 games and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time ever. They had a solid core of 4 graduating seniors; however, they will have 9 players returning next season, plus several incoming transfers and freshman. Overall, this is a young team with some good talent, especially in this year’s freshman and sophomore class.
The future looks bright for the Lady Stallions softball program for the first time in the 13 years they have played in Class 1A competition.