Ladybirds win Big East Conference softball crown
FRANKLINTON — It wasn’t decided until the final inning, but the Southern Nash High varsity softball team can put its third 3-A Big East Conference championship banner since 2018 on the wall.
In its final game as a conference member, senior Barton College signee Kierstin Cooper pitched a no-hitter and junior Alexa Daniel’s RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh allowed the Ladybirds to clip host Franklinton in a 2-1 decision Thursday night.
Southern Nash, in winning its 12th straight game to reach 12-1 overall and a spotless 10-0 in Big East play, trailed 1-0 in the fourth inning. A Franklinton (8-2, 8-2 Big East) victory would have forced a share of the conference title and a drawing for the Big East’s top seed into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.
Cooper struck out 11 and walked four, but still trailed entering the fifth inning. Daniel, who drove in both runs for the Ladybirds, laced a run-scoring single to plate senior Taylor Bailey in the fifth.
Needing a go-ahead run in the seventh, McKenna Batten dropped down a bunt single and was replaced on first by Taylor Bailey after a fielder’s choice.
Once Taylor Bailey stole second via a hook slide, Daniel drove her in with her second single, turning it over to Cooper to get the final three outs in the pitching circle to complete the no-hitter.
Firebirds outlast Nash Central in slugfest
ROCKY MOUNT — The Southern Nash High varsity baseball team fell behind 11-3 after four innings before a more patient offensive approach allowed the Firebirds to construct an eight-run fifth on the way to a come-from-behind 18-12 victory Thursday night.
It was the first win for the 3-A Big East Conferene Firebirds, who amassed 15 hits compared to 11 for Nash Central. Zyshone Pearce went 3 for 4 with an RBI, while A.J. High went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Matthew Hill, Landen Baker and Mason Cone all had two hits. Tanner Baker added a two-run single for Southern Nash, who tacked on four runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Baker claimed the win on the mound, allowing one hit over three innings with six strikeouts.
Nash Central of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference fell to 1-2.
Ladybirds get 2-0 win to end soccer season
FRANKLINTON — Netting one goal in each half Thursday, the Southern Nash High varsity girls soccer team ended its 2021 season on a positive note with a 2-0 conquest of 3-A Big East Conference opponent Franklinton.
Midway through the first half, junior Layla Austin found sophomore Amber Patterson with a pass, which was headed in by Patterson for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Junior Vanessa Velez gave the Ladybirds (7-4. 4-4 Big East) an insurance goal in the second half by booting in a loose ball around the goal line.
Senior goalkeeper Kathryn Robinson and junior Valerie Valez led the Ladybirds on defense en route to a third-place finish in the five-team Big East race.
Robinson, Briana Cobos, and Jada Zimmerman appeared in their final games for Southern Nash.
Southern Nash finishes 3rd in Big East individuals
WILSON — The Southern Nash High girls golf team posted a third-place finish as a team at Thursday’s 3-A Big East Conference individual championships, held at Willow Springs Country Club.
Mackenzie Gamble (94), Samantha Puckett (98) and Madilyn Lockhart (104) earned all-conference honors by finishing inside the top 10 in stroke average.
Tabatha Tomaszewski, who shot a 102, earned honorable mention.
Fike wraps up Big East team title
WILSON — Led by freshman medalist Breanna Council, the Fike High girls golf team put the finishing touches on the 3-A Big East Conference championship following the conclusion of the seventh and final match of 2021 on Thursday.
Playing a full 18 holes as opposed to nine-hole events, Fike amassed a team score of 252 for its low three individuals, while Hunt was 20 shots back at 272. Following were Southern Nash (294) and Franklinton (339). Northern Nash did not field enough golfers for a score, while Rocky Mount did not field a team in conference play.
From a cumulative perspective, the Lady Golden Demons bested Hunt over the seven-round circuit with an aggregate stroke count of 1,052. That was 88 shots better than the Lady Warriors at 1,120 as Southern Nash (1,153) and Franklinton (1,367) followed.
The top 10 golfers in the league out of 22 scored were recognized as all-conference. Council’s medalist run of 269 was 36 shots clear of freshman Avery Briley and Hunt’s Ashton Barnes, who deadlocked for second at 305. Hunt’s Anna Brooke Taylor (313) and Mackenzie Gamble (316) of Southern Nash rounded out the top five.
Other all-conference performers were Fike’s Morgan Harold (334), Samantha Puckett (336) of Southern Nash, Northern Nash’s Cydney Richardson (341), Madeline Lockhart (344) of Southern Nash and Hunt’s Katherine Willoughby (352).
Honorable mention nods went to Fike’s Rachel Thomason, Allison Boykin of Hunt, Northern Nash’s Kasey Drake, Southern Nash’s Tabitha Tomaszewski and Isabelle Henry of Franklinton.
Fike coach Glenn Jones was voted the league’s Coach of the Year by his peers.
Fike sweeps Big East tri-match opener
WILSON — The Fike High wrestling team, fueled by forfeits, lifted the curtain on its 2021 wrestling season April 28 with a triangular sweep of 3-A Big East Conference foes Northern Nash and Southern Nash.
The host Golden Demons took down Northern Nash 51-10 before handing Southern Nash a 45-9 setback.
Against Northern Nash, DeSaun Avent turned back Major Phillps of Northern Nash at 285 pounds with an 8-1 decision.
Picking up pinfall victories for Fike were Antwan Macedo at 138, Vincent Page at 170 and Justin Bullock at 220. Fike secured five wins via forfeit.
Versus the Firebirds, Macedo completed a 2-0 evening at 138 as did Page at 170.
Fike’s 145-pound entrant, Abdul Bensaad, pinned Luis Arellano.
At 160 pounds, Gregory Opie recorded a pin of Southern Nash’s Tanner Baker. Zametrie Bagley secured a slim 8-6 decision over the Firebirds’ Jadel Davis at 182.
For Southern Nash, Tristan Rosas outlasted Avent at 285 in a tiebreaker, with Trondrayl Newsome pinning Justin Bullock at the 220-pound class.
Ladybirds lead the way at Northgreen
ROCKY MOUNT — Utilizing a team score of 140 for its low three individuals, the Southern Nash High girls golf team prevailed in a three-team 3-A Big East Conference match at Northgreen Country Club on April 27.
Mackenzie Gamble led the way with a 43, while Samantha Puckett authored a 47. Madelyn Lockhart and Tabatha Tomaszewski each turned in cards of 50.
The Southern Nash quartet qualified for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A East regional at Wilson’s Willow Springs Country Club.
Firebirds seize Big East golf title
BUNN — Southern Nash won its final regular-season match April 26, shooting a 194 at The River Golf Course to claim the 3-A Big East Conference title.
Jacob Kearney led the Firebirds with a 40 in the nine-hole match while Carson Winstead (47), Levy Brantley (51) and Jonathan Daniels (56) also posted counting scores.
No further details on the match or the conference standings were available.
Ladybirds rout Nash Central 9-0
ROCKY MOUNT — Southern Nash stepped out of 3-A Big East Conference play April 26 and got a little work on its offense as the Ladybirds pounded host Nash Central 9-0.
Freshman Citali Rangel had a trick for Southern Nash, which improved to 6-4 overall, while classmate Charlotte Benson had three assists and a goal. Amber Patterson scored twice while Jada Zimmerman and Jessica Garcia each had a goal.
Vanessa Velez and Maura Kennedy added an assist each.
McCalston leads Firebirds at Rocky Mount
ROCKY MOUNT — Behind a trio of first-place showings from Jalen McCalston, the Southern Nash High boys track team amassed eight top performances in an April 26 tri-meet at Rocky Mount High.
Southern Nash of the 3-A Big East Conference picked up first-place showings from McCalston in the long jump, 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles.
McCalston won the long jump with an attempt of 21 feet, while claiming the 110 hurdles in 15.56 seconds and the 300 in 42.28.
The Firebirds 4x800-relay team of Darrin Bailey, Logan Saunders, Kelvin Hill and Thomas Copeland crossed the line in a time of 9:03.9.
Bailey tacked on two more first-place efforts in the high jump, clearing an even 6 feet and leading the field in the 800 (2:18).
In the 400, T.J. Taybron finished first in 55:09 while Kahari Caudle won the triple jump with his leap of 35-1.
Firebirds stymied at Wake Forest in opener
WAKE FOREST — The Southern Nash High varsity baseball team found little in the way of offense April 26 as junior Zyshone Pearce tallied the only hit for the Firebirds in a 10-0, five-inning loss to Wake Forest.
Wake Forest of the 4-A Northern Carolina Conference induced the 10-run mercy rule after five innings with three runs in the first, five in the second and two in the third.
Nevin Norville and Luke Stevenson homered for the Cougars, purveyors of five hits.
Sophomore Landen Baker took the loss for Southern Nash of the 3-A Big East Conference, with two of his five runs being earned over 1 ⅔ innings. Southern Nash committed four errors.
Nicholas Moran claimed the win for Wake Forest on the mound.
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