College notes: Coleman leads ACC in softball batting; Oakley wins two bouts in NCAAs

Alex Coleman (Courtesy photo)


Southwestern Randolph alum Alex Coleman, an outfielder for North Carolina’s softball team, is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leading batter more than halfway through the season.


Coleman checked at .495 entering this week. Her numbers reflect a conference-leading 53 hits in 107 official at-bats with three doubles.

The Tar Heels leadoff batter also has drawn 14 walks with only eight strikeouts.


Behind Coleman in batting average is Florida State’s Jaysoni Beachum at .470.


Coleman’s 37 runs scored rate second in the ACC. She’s also 20-for-21 on stolen-base attempts to rank tied for second in total stolen bases.


Coleman is a transfer from Marshall, following coach Megan Smith Lyon, who left the Thundering Herd after the 2023 season to return to her alma mater when there was a coaching opening.


North Carolina won two of three games against visiting Notre Dame last week to push its record to 24-9 overall and 6-6 in the ACC.

This week, the Tar Heels visit first-place Duke for ACC games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Oakley posts two victories in NCAA championships


Ethan Oakley (Courtesy photo)

Appalachian State’s Ethan Oakley went 2-2 in the NCAA championships in Kansas City last month.


Oakley, a Wheatmore alum, finished the season with a 28-9 record. He’s a 133-pounder and the Southern Conference champion.


Oakley opened the NCAAs by upsetting Virginia Tech’s Sam Latona, a multi-time All-American. Oakley’s takedown with less than 80 seconds remaining gave him the lead in his eventual 8-7 victory. Latona led 6-3 in the second period.


From there, Oakley suffered an 11-5 loss to fifth-seeded Dylan Ragusin of Michigan State to complete his first day of competition.


On the second day of the tournament, Oakley controlled Lock Haven’s Gable Strickland for an 8-2 decision.

He couldn’t keep it going against Bucknell’s Kurt Phipps, who won 6-0. That ended Oakley’s season, though he has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

By Bob Sutton