Parkwood dethrones South Granville for 2A softball state title

Posted June 3
Updated June 4

— Parkwood defeated South Granville, 7-2, Saturday evening in Game 3 to claim the school’s first N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A softball state title.

The Rebels won back-to-back games on Saturday to win the championship after falling, 3-0, in Game 1 on Friday to dethrone the two-time defending state champions.

“Our girls proved a lot about how resilient they are,” said Parkwood manager Tim Speakman. “When their backs are against the wall – and it happened all year long –they fight. They don’t ever give up, and they have never given up on me once this year.”

South Granville would've been the first team to three-peat in the 2A classification since Central Davidson accomplished the feat from 2007 to 2009.

“Winning three in a row is hard, there are a lot of teams that never get here at all,” said South Granville manager Walter Day. “My message to them was that I saw an aggressive team; they didn't quit. They still played as hard as they could and I’m proud of them."

Parkwood didn't wait long to light the scoreboard in Game 3. Mary Pierce Barnes led off the first inning with a double and later crossed home plate following a fielding error on South Granville’s first basemen.

South Granville answered with a quick score of its own in the latter half of the first inning.

Leadoff batter Emma Jones reached third base on an error by Parkwood’s left fielder. Jones crossed home plate during the next at-bat following a passed ball to knot the game at 1-1.

After four innings of scoreless play, Parkwood exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding five-run lead.

Parkwood loaded the basses with one out in the inning after three errors and successful bunt attempt. South Granville's starting pitcher Miranda Barker hit Amber Parker and walked Caroline Ruth to score two runners from third without putting the ball in play.

Baylee Morton blew the game open with a bases-clearing double to extend the Rebels' lead to 6-1. Morton was named the most valuable player of the state championship after finishing 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI in Game 3.

Parkwood scored five runs on one hit and three errors in the inning.

South Granville was plagued by errors in the three-game series, accounting for five in Game 3 and eight total.

Vikings head coach Walter Day credited the youth of the team with the miscues but was said he was proud of the aggressiveness and grit they showed in the series, and all year.

"How many teams do you have with freshman like that, that do well," he said. "You watch them in practice, they have grit. They have heart, [and] they have determination. That's what got them here, and they used it all today."

South Granville added a run in the second half of the fifth inning after an two-out RBI double off the bat of Brianne Coleman, but that would be the closest the defending champs would come to a comeback.

Morton scratched across home plate after a throwing error by South Granville’s right fielder for an insurance run in the seventh inning.

Ruth picked up her second win of the three-game series Friday evening, holding to the Vikings to seven hits and surrendering only two runs.

South Granville finishes its season with a 26-2 overall record, with its only two losses coming on Saturday in the final two games of the 2A championship series.

"They made some great defensive plays," Day said. "You can't take anything away from them. And [Caroline] Ruth on the mound, she was awesome today. That's how it goes. It just wasn't our day."


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