Two UCA teams plus Randleman in baseball, Cougars in softball move on in states

Southwestern Randolph’s Alyssa Harris slides into the plate as Walkertown catcher Sadie Smith tries to make a play in a first-round game of the Class 2-A state playoffs for softball. (Scott Pelkey/Randolph Record)

Two baseball teams and two softball teams from Randolph County made it through the first week of the state playoffs.

Now it likely becomes more challenging for Randleman and Uwharrie Charter Academy in baseball and Southwestern Randolph and UCA in softball.

In baseball, there was one team from the county guaranteed to advance to the third round when Randleman and visiting Wheatmore met in Friday night’s second-round game.

Sixth-seeded Randleman scored the last seven runs to secure a 13-3 six-inning victory, defeating the Warriors for the third time this season.

“We adjusted to their pitcher,” Randleman coach Jake Smith said. “Second time through (the batting order), figured it out a little bit. Guys got more confident.”

Tate Andrews scored three runs and John Kirkpatrick supplied a pair of runs batted in. Jake Riddle pitched five innings for the Tigers (22-5).

Randleman has a third-round assignment at third-seeded Eden Morehead, which eliminated the Tigers in last year’s fourth round to end the team’s two-year reign as state champion.

Though the season ended for No. 22 seed Wheatmore, it was a notable postseason because the Warriors registered the first state-playoff baseball victory in school history. Caleb Coggins belted a grand slam in a 9-4 first-round victory at No. 11 seed Madison.

Wheatmore (13-11) finished with its first winning season in six years.

“Truly not giving up throughout the season,” Warriors coach Trey Byrd said of the key. “Just work on handling adversity as a team. We preached all year, don’t be satisfied.”

Also in the first round, Randleman edged No. 27 seed Lincoln Charter 3-2 on the strength of Seth Way’s three-hitter and home runs from Way and Tate Andrews.

No. 30 seed Southwestern Randolph’s first-round game at Eden Morehead was postponed one day before the Cougars (9-15) suffered an 11-1 loss.

In Class 1-A, second-seeded UCA topped No. 18 Polk County 8-1 in the second round Friday night to push its winning streak to 16 games.

The Eagles (22-5) led 2-0 until a six-run fourth inning. Next for UCA will be a visit from No. 23 seed Mountain Heritage.

Polk County fell to 11-14.

UCA opened the playoffs by drubbing No. 31 seed Bradford Prep 15-0 in 4½ innings.

There won’t be a UCA/Eastern Randolph rematch in the West Region finals this year because the Wildcats lost Friday night.

Third-seeded Christ the King posted an 8-1 victory against 19th-seeded Eastern Randolph (10-17).

The Wildcats were coming off a 4-1 first-round victory against No. 14 seed Corvian Community behind Samuel Asbill’s three-hitter.

In Class 3-A, No. 31 seed Asheboro fell 3-0 at second-seeded West Henderson in what became coach Brett Hoogkamp’s final game as he announced his resignation afterward. Connor Adams pitched a complete game for the Blue Comets (9-17).



Top-seeded UCA defeated No. 16 seed Swain County 7-1 with Mollie Bulla throwing a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Emory Johnson racked up three hits, Kenzie Hill tripled and scored twice and Jayla Hurley had a double and scored twice.

UCA began with a 13-3 whipping of No. 32 seed Mitchell.

The Eagles (19-3-1) meet eighth-seeded Mountain Island or No. 24 seed Polk County in the third round.

** No. 12 seed Eastern Randolph’s season ended with a 3-2 road loss to fifth-seeded Cherryville. The Wildcats finished with a 12-8 record.

Eastern Randolph opened the playoffs by stumping No. 21 seed Hiwassee Dam 10-0 on Addie Flinchum’s 10-strikeout no-hitter in a game that lasted five innings. Hailey Ritter and Ayanna Mears both knocked in two runs and Logann Beaver scored three runs.

In Class 2-A, Southwestern Randolph’s Macie Crutchfield struck out nine in a two-hitter as the fourth-seeded Cougars topped No. 13 seed McMichael 4-0.

Kami Dunn knocked in two runs and Alyssa Harris and Micah Wilson provided the other runs batted in.

That sets up a third-round clash with Black Mountain Owen.

In the opening round, Crutchfield struck out 17 batters and allowed one hit when Southwestern Randolph defeated No. 29 seed Walkertown 5-0. Dunn had three hits and drove in two runs.

** No. 19 seed Randleman (14-9) was out after a 6-5 loss at No. 14 seed Mount Pleasant.

** No. 27 seed Providence Grove (8-12) lost 10-0 to sixth-seeded West Stokes in a game that was suspended and completed the following day.

** No. 30 seed Wheatmore (7-13) fell 12-1 at third-seeded Maiden.

By Randolph Record