05/15/12 — Faith Christian softball takes 3rd in NCCSA 2-A state tournament

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Faith Christian softball takes 3rd in NCCSA 2-A state tournament

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 15, 2012 1:49 PM

KINSTON -- Reaching the N.C. Christian Schools Association Class 2-A final four has become old hat for the Faith Christian softball team.

But that state title has become elusive, too.

The Conquerors opened tournament play with an error-filled, 11-9 loss to Tri-City. They reduced the defensive miscues the next day and handed region foe Trinity Christian of Greenville a 13-5 defeat.

Hannah Stocks and Christina Powell paced Faith's offensive attack with two hits apiece. Stocks threw a complete-game eight-hitter and fanned four Trinity batters inside the pitcher's circle.

Stocks and Powell earned NCCSA All-State honors for the Conquerors, who were making their sixth final four appearance since winning the first of three consecutive state championships in 2006. Faith Christian was runner-up in 2009 and finished fourth a year ago.

"I thought we could make it back after what we did last year since we had most of the group returning," Conquerors head coach Jeff Stocks said. "We have definitely done better than last year. The teams this year were a little bit better than the teams we played last year (in the final four).

"It has been a good year and we've been really competitive."

Faith Christian (12-4 overall) will lose its entire infield to graduation -- Powell, Brianna Champion, Watson, Brittany Barfield and Elizabethe Weeks. Champion and Abigail Pierce were named first-team All-East Region, while Weeks was named second-team all-region.

Stocks commended his team for getting along well all season and showing a great work ethic during practice. He expects to return a young team in 2013 and knows the Conquerors will face more challenges on the diamond since the NCCSA is realigning its current membership.

The Association said the 3-A schools will drop to 2-A due to decreasing enrollment.

"We will play a lot of bigger schools, but we also play a few of those on our schedule now," Stock said.