SPARTA — In the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference championship softball game, East Wilkes took the trip up the mountain to take on the top-ranked Alleghany Trojans.
Things were going well for both teams until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Trojans put on a show in the batter’s box. Alleghany was able to put down three home runs in two innings to take a 5-0 win over East Wilkes and be crowned the tournament champions.
Alleghany came into the game with a plan that would hinder the Cardinals. East Wilkes’ Lauren Rakes was intentionally walked each time she went up to the plate, which took one of the strongest hitters out of the lineup.
In the first inning, Rakes was the only batter that advanced to first base for either team. In the second inning, East Wilkes was able to get a runner on base as Lyric Ryan smashed the ball into center field for a double. Ryan was able to advance to third after a sacrifice fly by Samantha Carter. East Wilkes was unable to bring Ryan across the plate as the Trojans were able to get the third out.
The defensive pressure for the Cardinals continued into the bottom of the inning, as East Wilkes made Alleghany go three-up three-down once again. Rakes accumulated all three outs as she threw out the first and second batters, then put down a strikeout for the third out.
In the fourth inning, the tide started to turn in Alleghany’s favor. The Trojans were able to put down two home runs in a row to start off the bottom of the inning and take a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Trojans put down another home run to bring two runs across the plate and take a 4-0 lead. The final run of the night also came in the fifth inning which gave the Trojans a 5-0 lead over East Wilkes.
The final two innings saw East Wilkes advance just two runners on base. The runners were unable to cross home plate and the Trojans were able to take a 5-0 win over East Wilkes.
East Wilkes (15-8, 8-6) earned a 1A North Carolina High School Athletic Association Playoff berth and will travel to Murphy to take on the Bulldogs (14-6, 13-3) on Wednesday night.