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Rock Hill edges Lady Knights for tourney title

Posted: February 27, 2017 2:56 p.m.
Updated: February 28, 2017 1:00 a.m.

It was a great day for the North Central’s “Beat Cancer with a Bat” preseason softball tournament on Saturday at Larry Doby Park in Camden.  

There was a large crowd, plenty of sunshine and a lot of good softball as the 2017 softball season kicked for North Central and 15 other teams.  Schools from around the state showed up to battle for the right to be called champions of this benefit tournament.

North Central defeated Lee Central, A. C. Flora, Richland Northeast and Lower Richland to win the Survivor Bracket and would meet the winner of the Fighter Bracket in the championship game.

In the other side of the bracket, 5A entry Rock Hill beat Manning, Lakewood, and Fairfield Central to win the Fighter Bracket and take on the host Lady Knights for the championship in the one-day event.

The Lady Knights played well and had the lead until the bottom of the sixth when Rock Hill scored two runs --- with the help of an error --- to take a 5-4 lead. The Lady Knights did not give up and nearly pulled out the win in the top of the seventh.  With runners on first and second base with two outs, NC’s hopes of win the title came to a sudden end when the Rock Hill centerfielder made a great play to end the game and preserve the 5-4 win for the Lady Bearcats.

The Lady Knights played well all day long with solid pitching from Abby Catoe, Miranda Privette along with clutch pitching from Peyton Holley and Abby Outlaw, the latter, who was the winner of two games on the day. North Central had an excellent defensive performance from catcher Kali Tomlin, who caught all five games of the tournament. Other players providing the Lady Knights with tough defense were McKenna Arrants, Greer Beckham, Ciaria Black, Kynlee Cobb, Aaliyah White and Madison Dixon.

The Lady Knights scored plenty of runs throughout the day in beating Richland Northeast by 16 runs, topping Lee Central (13-4), A. C. Flora(12-5) and Lower Richland (13-7) before dropping the championship game.  

Leading the way on offense for NC were Holley, Abby Outlaw, Julianne Outlaw and Tomlin, who all had multiple hits and driving in multiple runs along with scoring runs for the hostesses. Others with big hits and runs scored included Cobb, Madison Dixon, Adrianna Blackwell and Kaitlin Hall.  

“It was a total team effort on the day as each of the Lady Knights would contribute to the wins on offense,” said NC head coach Mike Grigsby. Others having a good day at the plate, he said, included Beckham, Black, McKenna Arrants along with Abby Catoe and Miranda Privette.  

“We averaged 13 runs per game leading up to the Saturday championship game which could be the start of something big for the Lady Knights,” said Grigsby whose team hosts Andrew Jackson next Tuesday. “With the good defense and early success in the tournament, the Lady Knights will set their eyes on a region crown for 2017.”



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