DOBSON — Senior Jennifer Coe made sure her final season would continue as she led the team with her bat and glove Wednesday.
Surry Central upset Cuthbertson 3-1 to advance in the state 2-A playoffs.
The visiting Lady Cavaliers had a 21-6 record, while the home team was 15-10, but coming off an upset of West Stanly, the top school from Cuthbertson’s Rocky River Conference.
The Cavaliers scored in the first inning. On a full count, Cuthbertson got a single up the middle, then a sacrifice to move the runner into scoring position. A single to right brought the run home. Catcher Ivy Johnson threw out a runner trying to steal second to end the threat.
In the Eagles’ first at-bat, Karmen Gardner hit a one-out double over the leftfielder’s head. Cassidy Joyner followed with a double to rightcenter to tie the score.
Coe hit a long fly ball near the fence in left that the outfielder misplayed to allow Joyner to third and Coe to second.
Myers followed with a fly ball to left that should have been deep enough to score Joyner, but the freshman didn’t tag up. She and Coe were left on base.
Cavs pitcher Mel Recher then settled down and got back-to-back 1-2-3 innings.
She only threw eight pitches in the second and third innings because the Eagles were chasing balls out of the strike zone, said Coach Glenn Craddock.
He huddled the team to tell them to be more selective at the plate and make the pitcher give them something good to hit.
“They were pumped up and ready to go,” he said, so it was hard to fault them for enthusiasm.
In the meantime, Coe made two great catches in the outfield. On one, she started forward, then saw the fly ball was curving toward the foul line. She changed directions and made a running catch. Later she ran forward and slid as she caught a sinking line drive.
Fellow outfielder Tiffani York also made a big play. Recher hit a two-out double before the next batter singled up the middle.
York caught the ball running toward home and quickly fired the ball out. Even though the throw was a few feet up the third-base line, the ball arrived so early that Johnson had plenty of time to apply the tag for the third out.
“That was probably the turning point in the game,” said Craddock. Coe’s catch and York’s throw, he said, “they kind of took the wind out of their sails.”
The score was tied 1-1 at the time, so if York hadn’t gotten the out, the Cavaliers would have taken the lead.
Instead, the Eagles got the go-ahead run in the fourth when Coe struck out, but hustled down the line and beat out a throw to first after the third strike bounced in the dirt.
Brittany Myers hit a grounder to second, but beat out the double-play throw to first. Johnson sacrificed her to second, and Myers made a big enough turn at second to draw a throw from the first baseman to second base. Myers kept going to third and had the throw bounce off her helmet. Safe at third, she came home on a single from Karie McLamb.
McLamb broke a bone in her hand in a scrimmage and missed the entire regular season. Craddock has been trying to work her back into the lineup in the playoffs.
Coe scored an insurance run when she doubled and came home on a single from Johnson.
Pitcher Elise Austin went the distance, giving up just seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
With West Stokes losing to Central Davidson, the Eagles are the last Northwest Conference team in the 2-A playoffs. They will play at Central Davidson (25-3) on Friday in the final four of the 2-A West regional.