Southwestern Randolph Cougars capture PAC Tournament in softball

ASHEBORO – Southwestern Randolph pitcher Macie Crutchfield struck out 12 batters and the Cougars won a softball rubber match with host Uwharrie Charter Academy – and this outcome came with a bigger reward.

The Cougars claimed the Piedmont Athletic Conference Tournament championship with a 4-1 victory Thursday night.

Southwestern Randolph took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and added a run in the sixth inning.

Crutchfield drove in two runs, and Alyssa Harris and Hayleigh Thompson had run-scoring doubles.

UCA (17-3-1) won the regular-season title by one game, topping the Cougars 4-3 a week earlier to break a first-place tie. But Southwestern Randolph (15-6) successfully defended its league tournament crown.

Losing pitcher Mollie Bulla homered in the seventh inning and Kenzie Hill provided two hits for the Eagles.

Earlier in the tournament …

Southwestern Randolph reached the final by defeating seventh-place Trinity 15-0 and third-seeded Randleman 3-1 earlier in the week.

Lillian Payne tripled twice to go with a double and Thompson had two doubles in the Trinity game, which lasted just three innings. Micah Wilson was the winning pitcher.

Crutchfield struck out eight batters in the two-hitter against Randleman. Thompson, Crutchfield and Kami Dunn drove in runs for Southwestern Randolph. Tigers pitcher Kinzie Ivey fanned eight and walked three.

UCA, which had a bye in the quarterfinals, topped fourth-seeded Eastern Randolph 9-5 in the semifinals. Hill had a home run and drove in three runs. Bulla was the winning pitcher. Addie Flinchum scored two runs for Eastern Randolph.

In quarterfinals, Randleman whipped sixth-seeded Wheatmore 12-1, while Eastern Randolph pounded fifth-seeded Providence Grove 13-3 with Flinchum homering and doubling and earning the pitching victory.

** In the Piedmont Athletic Conference Tournament, sixth-seeded Asheboro fell 15-0 to third-seeded Ledford in the quarterfinals.

By Randolph Record