SOFTBALL 1

Princeton batter Lilly Holmes fouls the ball off as she looks to get on base in the at bat.

PRINCETON — The North Duplin Rebels clinched the Carolina 1A Athletic Conference with a 6-2 victory over the Princeton Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon.

Princeton started off the game by taking an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. The two runs came from a two-run RBI double that Averie Daughtry hit to score Logan Sutton and Le’Onna Nelson.

North Duplin tied the game up at 2-2 in the second inning with a two-run RBI double of their own that was hit by Skylar Craig.

North Duplin scored again in the third inning when Reece Outlaw came home after a throwing error from Princeton catcher Nelson. The throwing error came from an attempt by the catcher to throw Outlaw out who was taking a big lead from third base.

The Rebels scored their fourth run of the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single when Riley Hatch scored a runner from third base.

The last two runs of the game were scored by North Duplin when Isabella Quintanilla hit an RBI single to score Logan Taylor Jones and Riley Hatch hit a bunt to score Starr Jaco.

A final out by the Rebels sealed the conference win for North Duplin, with players celebrating on the field with hugs and high-fives.

The Rebels player of the game was starting pitcher Callie Thornton who found her rhythm after the first inning where she gave up two runs. After the first inning, Thornton did not give up a single run and finished the game with only four hits and four strikeouts.

North Duplin Head Coach Ricky Edwards said it was an extremely important win for the school and for his team.

“It’s good for our school, it’s good for our community, and the girls deserved it,” Edwards said. “They work extremely hard, and it’s big to be able to win a conference championship.”

Edwards also praised his team’s pitching and defense during the game and throughout the season.

“(Callie Thornton), she did a fantastic job, and we made a lot of good defensive plays behind her too,” Edwards said. “We played really good defense all year. A couple of (plays) could have gone either way, and the girls just play hard.”

With the win, North Duplin improves to 10-0 overall and 9-0 in conference play. Princeton falls to 9-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference.

North Duplin plays Hobbton Monday at home in the last game of the regular season.