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The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the pairings for the 2015 softball playoffs. Area team's and their first round matchups:

2A:
Bandys at Wheatmore
Bunker Hill hosts Owen

3A:
Fred T. Foard hosts St. Stephens
Freedom hosts North Lincoln
Hibriten travels to West Iredell

4A:
Alexander Central hosts East Meck
South Caldwell hosts Watauga

See the full state playoffs by downloading the attachment.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the pairings for the 2015 girls soccer playoffs. Area team's and their first round matchups:

2A:
Bandys at Central Academy of Technology and Arts
Bunker Hill travels to Ashe County
Newton-Conover is at Parkwood
West Caldwell hosts Wheatmore

3A:
Fred T. Foard at Kings Mountain
Hibriten travels to Marvin Ridge
Hickory hosts West Henderson
St. Stephens host South Point

4A:
Alexander Central at Myers Park
South Caldwell hosts Glenn

See the full state playoffs by downloading the attachment.

Appalachian State University men’s and women’s track and field each placed seventh at the Sun Belt Championships on Sunday in Gulf Shores Ala.

The meet started on Thursday when Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) finished with a time of 35:05.15 to place first in the 10,000m run at the Sun Belt championships. Dana Cox (Cary, N.C./Apex) placed third with a time of 36:27.92.

Brianna Tate (Summerfield, N.C./Grimsley) took third in the hammer throw with a distance of 54.08 meters for a third-place ranking in the App State record book.

On the men’s side Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga)earned seventh in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 31:46.04, while Kyle McFoy (Newark, Del./Tatnall) finished eighth with a time of 31:53.70. Ellsworth Parham (Asheville, N.C./Christ School) placed eighth in the hammer throw with a throw of 189.00 on day one of competition

On day two Samantha Campanaro (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) and Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) each earned points for the Mountaineers in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Campanaro placed fourth with a time of 11:01.76 and Ratcliffe took fifth with a time of 11:02.34. Both were personal bests. Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount) scored four points for the Apps by taking fourth in the high jump, clearing a height of 5-4.

Tate led the throwers by placing fifth in the shot put with a mark of 51-3 for a new personal best. Tate then placed third in the hammer throw with a distance of 177-4 for another personal best. Both marks rank Tate in the top-ten in the App State record book.

William Buckley (Durham, N.C./East Chapel Hill) qualified for the finals in the 100 meter dash by placing fourth in the preliminaries with a time of 10.30 for a new personal best and ranks second all-time in the App State record book. Buckley then qualified for the finals in the 200 meter dash, posting a sixth-place finish with a time of 21.01 for another personal best and a third-best ranking in school history.

Josh Cox (Mooresville, N.C./Charlotte) earned a point for the Mountaineers when he finished eighth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:34.99. Nathan Milch (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley) placed sixth in the shot put, throwing a distance of 52-6, while Parham took eighth in the javelin throw with a distance of 189.0 for a new personal best.

Stanley Broaden (Wilmington, N.C./Eugene Ashley) led the Mountaineers on the last day of the competition, earning two Sun Belt titles. Broaden took first in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.10 for a new personal best, ranking sixth all-time in the App State record books. Broaden then earned his second title of the day by placing first in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 51.66.

Henry Bustle (Statesville, N.C./South Iredell) placed seventh in the triple jump, scoring two points for the Mountaineers with a mark of 48-4 for a new personal best. Ryan Hastings (Mathews, N.C./Porter Ridge) placed third in the 800 meter run, recording a time of 1:50.46. The time was a personal best and is the third-best time in school history. Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) took seventh in the 1,500 meter run on Sunday, finishing with a time of 3:57.20.

Buckley led the sprinters with a sixth-place finish in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.45. He then took fifth in the 200 meter dash, recording a time of 21.30 to tie a personal best.

The Mountaineers’ 4x400 relay team of Hastings, Broaden, Clay Allen and Josh Hanna wrapped up the day by finishing fifth with a time of 3:13.95 to score four points for the Apps.

Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex) started the day by placing fourth in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:38.10. Shelby Howell then took fourth in the 800 meter run, recording a time of 2:10.36.

The highlight of the day came in the 5,000 meter run when App had three athletes score team points. Van Ord earned her second title of the meet, placing first with a time of 17:01.09. The time also set a Sun Belt Conference meet record. Cox followed in fourth-place, recording a time of 17:26.43 and Campanaro took eighth with a time of 17:43.27.

The 4x400 meter relay team of Howell, Micah Hanks, Brooke Brekke and Krystal Clarke took seventh to end the day, posting a time of 3:51.28.

The men’s team finished with a total of 52 points in seventh-place. UT Arlington took the men’s team title with a total of 166 points.

The women’s team finished seventh in the conference meet with 68.50 total points. Arkansas State took the Sun Belt title with a total of 138 points.

Zahria Buchanan of Maiden High School and Kytel Collins-Jackson of Scotland High School are the first recipients of the NCHSAA Scholarship Awards, which were presented at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting at the Smith Center on Thursday.

These awards are new to the NCHSAA and are presented to student-athletes who meet the academic criteria as well as athletic involvement and sound character. The funds for the scholarships come from donations designated to the Endowment for this purpose as well as a corporate gift. Regional winners were selected and then the two overall state winners came from the regional receipients.

Each regional winner receives a $750 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and the overall state winners receive an additional $1000 each.

Buchanan was a four-year basketball player at Maiden and an excellent student, with a 3.963 weighted GPA and a member of her school’s Beta Club. She will be heading to Winston-Salem State University in the fall.

The Hickory Crawdads came away with their second straight extra innings walk-off win Sunday night, with the winning run for the club coming on a 10th inning balk to score Isiah Kiner-Falefa from third and give the 'Dads a 3-2 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats at L.P. Frans Stadium.

One night after Jose Cardona's walk-off home run in the 17th inning gave the Crawdads a 5-4 win, the 'Dads and Gnats once again needed more than nine frames to find a winner. Hickory lost leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the 8th and 9th innings respectively to head to the 10th with a 2-2 tie. Kiner-Falefa singled to right to start the rally before a sacrifice bunt by Cardona and back-to-back intentional walks to Michael De Leon and Luke Tendler loaded the bases with one out. Following a strikeout by Jairo Beras, Travis Demeritte worked a 2-2 count against Savannah reliever Alberto Baldonado. On the next pitch, Kiner-Falefa broke from third in an attempt to steal home. Baldonado responded by balking before throwing home, awarding the base to Kiner-Falefa and giving the Crawdads the 3-2 win.

The victory stretches Hickory's current winning streak to five straight, while improving their record in extra inning games to 4-0 on the year.

The Crawdads led 1-0 for the vast majority of the game, with a two-out double by Kevin Torres and a corresponding infield, RBI single from Josh Morgan in the 2nd putting the 'Dads ahead. Hickory starting pitcher Collin Wiles took it from there, with the right-hander going a season-long seven shutout innings on three hits, three walks, and two strikeouts.

The Sand Gnats finally broke through against Crawdads reliever Austin Pettibone in the 8th, scoring an unearned run on two hits and two errors to tie the score at 1-1. Cardona was able to put the 'Dads back on top with a leadoff, solo homer to left on the first pitch of the bottom of the 8th, but the Gnats got to Pettibone again in the top of the 9th with one run on three hits to deadlock the game again at 2-2 and set up the Crawdads eventual walk-off win.

Kiner-Falefa finished the game 1-4 with the game-winning run, Cardona went 2-4 with his second homer of the year, and Morgan ended the night 3-4 with an RBI.

Hickory reliever Scott Williams (1-0) earned the win while making his first appearance of the season, as the righty tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Baldonado (0-3) took the loss for Savannah after allowing the winning run in the 10th.

The Crawdads (21-8) will look to continue their winning streak in game three of their four-game series against Savannah (11-18), with first pitch Monday night scheduled for 6:00 pm.

Due to tropical storm Ana hitting the North Carolina coast the Catawba Valley Community College baseball in the Region X / Southeast district tournament has been pushed back to restart on Monday evening. The #2 Patrick Henry CC (VA) vs. #3 Pasco-Hernando SC (FL) was originally scheduled for 5/9 at 7:00pm. But the storm has pushed this game back to be rescheduled to Monday, May 11 at 6:00pm.

Catawba Valley baseball will not play again until Tuesday, May 12 at 4:00pm against the winner of the #2 PHCC vs. #3 PHSC. The winner of this game will advance to the Championship game and will have to be beat twice.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 22:36

Hickory Crawdads Win in 17 Inning Marathon

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The Hickory Crawdads and Savannah Sand Gnats nearly played the equivalent of two games Saturday night, with a 17 inning, 5 hour contest that ended with a Jose Cardona walk-off homer to give the 'Dads a 5-4 win in front of 3,023 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The two clubs entered the 17th inning with neither team having scored since both clubs plated single runs in the 9th to make a 3-3 tie 4-4 and send the contest to extras. Out of pitchers, the Sand Gnats were forced to move their starting first baseman John Leroux to the mound in the bottom of the 17th. The moved worked initially as Leroux struck out Crawdads DH Marcus Greene to begin the inning, but with one out Cardona was finally able to end the game with a moon shot, solo home run that flew over the left field foul pole to give the 'Dads the 5-4 victory.

The game-winning shot was the only hit of the night for Cardona, who has now had a direct hand in all three of the Crawdads walk-off wins this season.

The contest began normally enough, with Hickory jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a two-out, RBI single by Jose Trevino. Savannah quickly responded with a pair of runs against Crawdads starter Brett Martin in the top of the 2nd to take the lead at 2-1.

Both starting pitchers settled in after that and the score remained the same until the top of the 7th, when the 'Gnats made it 3-1 with a run off of 'Dads reliever Trey Lambert. The Crawdads bounced back in the bottom of the frame however, when Greene launched a 2-run long ball over the left-center field wall to deadlock the score at 3-3.

Savannah re-took the lead at 4-3 with a single run in the top of the 9th, but down to their final out in the bottom of the frame Hickory was able to tie the score on an infield single and stolen base from Jairo Beras followed by an RBI base knock by Josh Morgan to force a 4-4 tie.

The score remained deadlocked over the next seven innings, spanning more than two hours before Cardona's walk-off blast.

Greene led the Crawdads offense with a 3-5 game including a home run, two doubles, and two RBI, while Cardona finished 1-7 with his game-winning long ball.

'Dads reliever Kelvin Vasquez (1-1) earned the win with two perfect innings of relief including three strikeouts. The five Hickory pitchers of Martin (4), Lambert (2), Adam Parks (7), David Perez (6), and Vasquez (3) combined to strike out 22 total batters on the night. Leroux (0-1) took the loss for the Gnats in his first pitching performance since throwing 1/3 of an inning for short-season Kingsport in 2013.

The Crawdads (20-8) and Sand Gnats (11-17) will match up again in game two of their four-game series Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 22:25

CVCC Baseball Advances In Tournament Play

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Catawba Valley Community College defeated Brunswick Community College 7-5.

The Red Hawks were able to jump on the board first scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the first. Lee who reached on a walk was able to advance to 3rd on a passed ball and Ivan Acuna single. Another passed ball let Lee score from 3rd to get the first run of the game. Bases were loaded when Skyler Strickland came up with 2 outs. A fly ball that fell between the right and center fielders gave Strickland a base clearing double and the Red Hawks a 4-0 lead.

Brunswick answered in the top of the second scoring 4 runs with the help of 2 errors on the Red Hawks defense allowing 3 unearned runs in. Brunswick added another in the top of the 3rd with another throwing error.

The Red Hawks answered back in the bottom of the third. After two walks to Acuna and Sullivan, Brunswick brought in a new pitcher. One the second pitch Randal Ortiz hit a double down the left field line scoring Acuna and Sullivan giving the Red Hawks the lead back. Ortiz later scored on a ground out RBI by Mykel Davis.

These would end up being the last runs of the game as both team held each other scoreless for the final 6 innings. Aaron Biggerstaff (7-0) collected the win after coming in for starting pitcher Bryce Hensley in the 2nd inning. Biggerstaff pitched 4.0 solid innings of relief allowing 0 runs on 3 hits and threw 4 strikeouts. Kyle Ramsey got the save throwing a solid final inning getting a strikeout looking to end the game.

The Red Hawks will play the winner of the #2 Patrick Henry and #3 Pasco-Hernando.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 22:18

Salamon Breaks Another L-R School Record

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Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Haylea Salamon broke her own school record for the third straight meet in the women’s discus throw Saturday at the Georgia Outdoor Track and Field Invitational at Spec Towns Track.

Salamon, a freshman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA, threw a 154’11” to place fourth overall for the Bears.

Salamon’s throw provisionally qualifies her for the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships which take place on May 21-23 in Allendale, Mich., at the Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium. The field for the finals is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior All-American Kevin Baxter (Columbia, S.C.) has also qualified as a provisional for the national championship in the men’s 110-meter hurdles for the third straight year.

Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI but it was not enough to overcome UT Arlington’s 16-hit attack in Appalachian State University baseball’s 9-3 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.

With the defeat, Appalachian State (16-36, 8-21 Sun Belt) dropped its final Sun Belt Conference series of the season, two games to one.

UT Arlington (22-28, 13-14 Sun Belt) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on its Senior Day with single runs in the second and third innings and two in the fourth.

Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) got Appalachian State on the board with a two-out RBI single in the fifth but UTA responded with two more runs in the bottom of the frame to stifle the Mountaineers’ rally and take a commanding 6-1 advantage.

After App State cut the deficit to 6-2 on Dobson’s two-out RBI double in the top of the eighth, UTA squelched any hopes of a comeback with three back-breaking runs in the bottom of the stanza that made it 9-2.

Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) singled and came home on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth to round out the scoring.

Dobson accounted for three of Appalachian State’s eight hits on the afternoon and raised his batting average to .324 on the season.

The first four hitters in UTA’s batting order — junior Matt McLean and seniors Travis Sibley, Levi Scott and Eric Tate — combined to go 10-for-18 with three doubles, four RBI and three runs scored. The Mavericks’ 16 hits were the most surrendered by the Mountaineers in a conference road game this season.

On an ultra-humid 82-degree day in north Texas, Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits over five innings to fall to 4-2 on the season.

The Mountaineers close the 2015 campaign on Tuesday evening with a non-conference battle versus longtime local rival East Tennessee State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Appalachian State’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.