05/08/11 — Aycock one of three favorites to claim ECC softball tourney crown

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Aycock one of three favorites to claim ECC softball tourney crown

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 8, 2011 1:51 AM

Charles B. Aycock, to no one's surprise, once again enters the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference softball tournament favored to win the title.

So is South Johnston.

And you can't count out Triton.

The Golden Falcons shared the ECC regular-season championship with the Trojans, who won the coin flip for the No. 1 seed in this week's tournament, which begins Monday. Second-seeded Aycock (19-4) entertains seventh-seeded Cleveland.

Third-seeded Triton (11-10) entertains sixth-seeded Southern Wayne (5-13) and playoff-bound Eastern Wayne (7-13) plays host to fifth-seeded North Lenoir, which will miss the playoffs for the first time with 10th-year head coach Heather Carson.

Each game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.

The semifinals are Tuesday with the championship game Thursday. If Aycock and South Johnston meet in the final, the winner grabs the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

"We obviously know how important playoff seeding is after what happened last year," said C.B. Aycock head coach Brad Matthews. "Winning the conference tournament is obviously the goal and I feel like we have put ourselves in good position to do that.

"We want to win the tournament because that would mean home field throughout the state playoffs. I feel like that is a big advantage, especially as you go deeper in the bracket."

South Johnston (19-1) survived an extra-inning scare against Triton on Tuesday. The Trojans lost to eventual state champion Southwestern Randolph in the eastern final at Walnut Creek a year ago.

Eastern Wayne secured its first-ever postseason trip in program history with a three-run victory over North Lenoir on Wednesday. The Warriors gained considerable confidence with a first-ever victory over Triton, which head coach Tony Parrish described as a "signature win" for his team.

"It's the first time in my four years here that our team has been in this position and I think that we are ready for the opportunity," said Parrish. "I think the girls are finally starting to believe that we can win these games. I feel like that is the way we should have been playing all season."