No. 7 Harnett Central’s varsity softball season came to a close with a 10-0 loss in six innings at No. 3 Cape Fear in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs on Friday.
“You can’t expect girls not to hit the ball,” said Harnett Central coach Ashley Gaines. “They’re going to be just like us. They’re going to be able to hit one-through-nine. They’re going to be able to make the plays that we make. They’re going to be able to hang tough.
“It was one of those nights. They got hits. We didn’t. We didn’t do our best approach at the plate, I think. But, that’s not to take anything away from Cape Fear. They came out and hammered the ball and played good defense. We had some good hits, they were just there and got some balls that we didn’t.”
Junior Lex Glemaker pitched the complete game shutout for the Colts (24-4), giving up no runs on three hits and no walks, with four strikeouts.
Senior Mikaela Goss and sophomores Evan Blake and Savannah Bain had one hit apiece for the Trojans (22-6).
“The girls still hit the ball and hit it hard,” Gaines said. “It was just either right to somebody or one of their girls made a play. There’s nothing for them to be upset about. That’s a good team and they work hard.”
Glemaker was also the top hitter for Cape Fear, going 3-for-3, with one RBI and two runs scored. Senior Hannah Lovick, with two hits, including a double, two RBIs and one run scored and junior Noni MacFadden, with a two-run home run, were also leading hitters for the Colts.
The Colts scored two runs apiece in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings.
Harnett Central loses two key seniors, Mikaela Goss and Ivanna Jones, but with a roster that includes five sophomores, five freshmen and only one junior, Gaines believes the Trojans will be able to build on this successful season.
“All of the underclassmen have some big shoes to fill,” Gaines said. “Ivanna and Mikaela have been extraordinary examples for our team. Not just in pride in what you do and leadership, but the playmakers that they are and the play in the field. I think there’s a lot to be said for where we are now, but also what’s to come in the future with what we’ve got. I told them to enjoy what we’ve done this season. Because they’ve done something that hasn’t been done in 12 years at Harnett Central (going this far in the playoffs).”
Cape Fear advances to the Eastern Regional Final of the state playoffs and will face top-seeded Eastern Alamance (24-1), which beat No. 12 Person (19-5) in the fourth round by a 4-3 margin on Friday.