05/21/17 — PREP SOFTBALL: Orange eliminates CBA from 3A playoffs

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PREP SOFTBALL: Orange eliminates CBA from 3A playoffs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 21, 2017 1:45 AM


HILLSBOROUGH -- Single-elimination games leave little margin for error.

And Charles B. Aycock, uncharacteristically, wasn't at the top of its game Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Falcons left 11 runners on base in their season-ending, 3-2 loss to Orange High School during their eastern 3-A semifinal-round game in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

The second-seeded Panthers (22-2 overall) meet fourth-seeded West Brunswick in the best-of-three eastern championship series, which begin Tuesday.

The third-seeded Golden Falcons (22-4) owned a 10-4 advantage in total hits. Connor Vinson, Mookie Powell, Cassandra Lassiter and Allison Shingleton provided two hits apiece.

"We put some runners on base to break the game open," CBA head coach LaVon Matthews said. "We just didn't get it done. That's the way it goes."

Mental errors allowed the Panthers to grab a 2-0 advantage in the bottom half of the first inning.

Aycock closed the gap to 2-1 in the top half of the third inning. Georgia Parnell delivered a lead-off single and moved into scoring position on Vinson's sac bunt.

After a line-drive out to third base, Lassiter plated Parnell with a single.

CBA came up empty offensively in the fifth and sixth innings. Orange extended its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh.

Vinson started the Golden Falcons' seventh with a base hit and moved into scoring position on Powell's single. Lassiter drove in Vinson, but CBA wouldn't score again.

Panthers catcher Mia Davidson, who has committed to Mississippi State, picked up a bunt in front of the plate and gunned down Powell at third base. Starting pitcher Kristina Givens induced consecutive ground balls to close out the game.

"The girl from Orange pitched a good ballgame...threw a change-up that kept us off balance, but we still got 10 hits," Matthews said. "We had the opportunities."

Taylor Waddell endured the mound loss for the Golden Falcons. In her final start, the senior surrendered four hits, walked three, hit one batter and retired four Panthers on strikeouts. She struck out Davidson twice.

Shingleton, Powell, Vinson, Cara Lenzi and Mackenzie Wheeler also played their final game for Aycock.