Prep softball: Cougars bounce Patriots; Eastern Randolph, UCA advance

 Southwestern Randolph pitcher Macie Crutchfield delivers to the plate against Providence Grove. (Scott Pelkey/Randolph Record)

ASHEBORO – Southwestern Randolph had a challenge from in-county rival Providence Grove in the second round of the Class 2-A state playoffs.

The Cougars had the right combination, riding Macie Crutchfield’s no-hitter to Friday night’s 5-0 victory.

Southwestern Randolph (21-1) has a third-round home game against No. 10 seed Mount Pleasant on Tuesday night.

Ky Perdue went 3-for-3 and scored three runs, while Madison Varner drove in two runs.

Providence Grove pitcher Emma Mazzarone’s prep career ended despite 13 strikeouts without a walk. The Patriots finished with a 14-9 record.

Providence Grove reached the second round by nipping No. 18 seed West Caldwell 1-0 in eight innings as Mazzarone fired a one-hitter with 19 strikeouts. Devon Kelly’s two-out double in the eighth drove in Katie Joe Staley.

Meanwhile, Southwestern Randolph secured a 10-0 triumph against No. 31 seed East Davidson in the first round as Caressa King and Maddie Strider blasted home runs. Crutchfield and Alyssa Harris combined to strike out seven batters in the six-inning game.

** No. 29 seed Randleman lost 11-0 at fourth-seeded West Stanly in the first round.

Class 1-A

Fourth-seeded Eastern Randolph and 15th-seeded Uwharrie Charter Academy both won two games in the opening week of the state playoffs.

Eastern Randolph drilled No. 29 seed Bradford Prep 13-0 in the first round as Addie Flinchump had two home runs among her four hits. She drove in six runs.

Ayanna Mears also homered and Lanie McDaniel had three hits, including a triple.

Eastern Randolph then topped No. 20 seed Starmount 9-0 with Flinchum striking out 15 and walking two in the two-hitter. Skylar Pugh belted a grand slam, Mears scored three runs and Ziera Watson scored two runs.

Next for the Wildcats (17-5) is a home date Tuesday vs. No. 12 seed East Wilkes.

UCA opened the playoffs with a 32-0 whipping of Highland Tech as Kenzie Hill and Molly Bulla homered. Hill, Bulla and Kynley Brewer all scored four runs. Bulla struck out 11 without allowing a hit.

UCA’s second victory of the playoffs came with a 4-1 upset at No. 2 seed South Stanly as pitcher Bulla struck out 14 batters and walked four. Hill scored two runs.

The Eagles (14-8) are slated for Tuesday’s third-round home game against No. 26 seed North Stokes.

By Randolph Record