OAKBORO — The Lady Eagles advanced in the state 2-A playoffs after upsetting West Stanly on the road Friday night.
Surry Central, 15-10, jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held on for a 6-5 win over the top team from the Rocky River Conference.
West Stanly played like a team with a 25-2 record, said assistant coach Mark Snow. While Elise Austin did a fine job, the pitcher could only get five strikeouts as the home team kept putting the ball in play, he said.
Austin gave up five runs, but only one of those was earned – a solo home run in the bottom of the first.
Luckily for the Eagles, that shot was sandwiched between two solo homers of their own. Cassidy Joyner hit a bomb in the first inning, and Brittany Myers went yard in the second.
In the top of the third, the Eagles strung together hits to take some of the confidence away from the home team, noted assistant coach Mark Snow.
Karmen Gardner started off the rally with a single, followed by a double from Joyner to put runners at second and third. Jennifer Coe singled home Gardner to put runners on the corners. Catcher Ivy Johnson doubled Joyner and Coe home for a 5-1 lead.
The Lady Colts didn’t score in the second, third or fourth innings. Then the home team scored twice in the fifth with the Eagles committing an error. Then the Colts scored two more in the sixth with two errors.
Austin only gave up six hits after the homer and went the distance. Snow said the staff knew from scouting West Stanly that their third and fifth hitters were outstanding, but they only had one hit between them Friday.
Coach Glenn Craddock said before the game that he expected to use both of his pitchers, but Chelsea Craddock was under the weather and Austin was doing well, so he left her in.
The Eagles spread their 10 hits around, led by Joyner going 2-4, with a double and homer, one RBI and two runs scored.
Myers was 1-3 with a walk, homer and RBI. Meagan Hutson was 2-3 with a run scored, and Johnson was 1-2 with a double, 2 RBIs and a walk.
“We are extremely proud of these young ladies,” said a jubilant Craddock. “We’re just overwhelmed. They are a great bunch of girls, and we love them to death. They did a great job tonight.”
With the other top teams in their side of the bracket upset, Central’s second seed earns the Eagles a home date on Tuesday. They will play the winner of Forest Hills and Cuthbertson at 7 p.m.