It took eight innings for the varsity softball team and only five for baseball, but Midway came out of Friday with a pair of wins to advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 2-A state playoffs.
In the softball game, No. 4 Midway rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning before winning 4-3 over No. 13 South Lenoir when sophomore Kiley Ives drove in senior Krista McLean with a walk off base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“Being scrappy and finding those little hits,” said Midway softball coach Susan Clark. “That’s important. Toughness. They were very scrappy and just didn’t give in.”
Sophomore Sarah Autry was the winning pitcher for the Raiders (18-4), giving up one earned run on one hit and one walk, with four strikeouts, across four innings of relief. Sophomore starter Jordyn Christopher pitched four innings, yielding no earned runs on two hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.
Senior Mallory Baggett had two hits and sophomore Kara Beth Benton had one hit and two RBIs to lead Midway at the plate.
Ives had one hit and one RBI. Samantha Carter had one hit and one run scored. Christopher and Eva McLamb had one hit apiece. McLean had one RBI and two runs scored. Lainey Hughes scored once.
Midway trailed 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out on the board, Hughes reached on an error, McLean drew a walk and Baggett had a base hit to load the bases before a base hit from Benton scored Hughes and McLean to tie the game.
The Blue Devils (12-7) had an opportunity in the top of the eighth, getting a runner to third with one out. But a pop-up to shortstop and a fly out to center field retired the side.
“That was a team effort,” Clark said. “Sarah pitched great and the defense played hard behind her.”
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, McLean drew a walk and advanced to second on a base hit from Baggett before scoring on a base hit from Ives to end the game.
Midway is at home against No. 5 Nash Central (20-5) in the third round of the playoffs on Tuesday.
Facing a familiar foe on the baseball field, top-seeded Midway made short work of visiting fellow Southeastern Athletic 2-A Conference member No. 16 East Bladen, winning 10-0 in five innings.
“That’s a tough team that always gives us trouble,” said Midway baseball coach Justin Carroll. “They always play us well. We came out and Christian Gainey pitched a great game and we were very aggressive at the plate and everybody hit, top-to-bottom, very well tonight.”
Junior Christian Gainey pitched the complete game shutout for the Raiders (22-2), giving up no runs on three hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.
Juniors Tripp Westbrook and Wyatt Lucas each had two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead Midway at the plate.
Hunter Tyndall had two hits, one RBI and one run scored. Carson Tew had two hits and two runs scored. Trey Gregory had one hit and two RBIs. Davis Williams had one hit and two runs scored. Wyatt Herring had one hit and one run scored. John McLamb had one hit.
Midway scored two runs in the first inning and four apiece in the second and fifth innings.
Midway is at home against No. 9 East Carteret (17-8) in the third round of the playoffs on Tuesday.