Host Cape Fear Christian Academy completed an unbeaten run through the Final Four of the NCISAA 1-A softball tournament with a 9-6 win over Pungo Christian Academy for the state championship on Saturday.
Aubree Bass hit a 2-run homer and Rhyleigh Horne pitched a complete game for the Eagles, who finished the season 14-7.
The Raiders (23-6) won twice in the losers’ bracket, including a 12-2 victory over second-seeded Ridgecroft on Saturday morning. The Raiders scored five times in the bottom of the seventh before CFCA converted a ground ball to Horne into an out at first to end the game.
The temperature had reached 93 degrees by the end of the contest.
Pungo won 12-6 at CFCA on March 29, the day after the Eagles’ prom, an outcome which significantly impacted the state seedings.
CFCA was seeded fourth among eight teams in the state tournament after spending much of the season ranked No. 1 in the NCISAA 1-A Division by MaxPreps.
In the progression of the double-elimination event at CFCA, top-seeded Lawrence was the first team to be knocked out, followed by Ridgecroft. Pungo was the No. 3 seed.
The 2019 state title was the seventh for CFCA. The first was in 1990 during the slow-pitch era. The Eagles also won state championships in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015.
There were no seniors on the 2019 team. Aubree Bass is in the seventh-grade and Rhyleigh Horne is in the eighth grade, making the future bright for the program guided by coach Sterling Holmes and assistant Craig Autry.
The Eagles have produced some outstanding college players including Delaney Cumbie, who was recently named All-Southern Conference as a freshman catcher for UNC Greensboro.
Cumbie played shortstop for the Eagles last year as CFCA was knocked out of the single-elimination Final Four at the Oakwood School in Greenville with a 9-8 loss in nine innings to Lawrence. The tournament format was compacted due to rain.
Cumbie was on hand during the 2019 Final Four to see her former teammates.