The Transylvania Times -

Lady Blue Devils Advance With 1-0 Win, Fall At Polk In Second Round


Robbie Robertson

Lady Devil first baseman Callie Green dives just ahead of Polk County's Karli Wood. Green got to the bag first, but the ball dropped loose.

The Lady Blue Devils needed a miracle in their opening-round victory at West Stokes Wednesday afternoon.

They got it in the bottom of the ninth for a 1-0 victory to start the 2-A state softball playoffs.

Casey Gilbert led off with a single and moved to third when Nijayah Cruel reached on an error.

Senior Mac McNiel drove in Gilbert with a sacrifice fly to straight away center field for the 1-0 lead to start the ninth.

The Wildcats still had an at-bat to close out the game, and they made the most of it.

Mariah Maynard reached on a two-base error and Ashley Philyaw reached safely on a bunt, and then stole second. Suddenly, the Lady Wildcats had runners at second and third with nobody out.

But Lady Blue Devil pitcher Gilbert coaxed a pop-out to first base; a fly-out to short center field and a ground-out to second base to preserve the victory.

Gilbert was 4-for-4 to lead the Lady Blue Devils. She also struck out 14, while giving up just three hits and no runs.

McNiel was 1-for-4, while Maykayla McNeill was 1-for-3.


In an emotional second-round match-up, the Lady Wolverines played just enough top-notch defense and got just enough timely hits to defeat Brevard 2-1 Saturday afternoon in Polk County.

Brevard jumped on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning.

Nijayah Cruel walked, reached third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by senior shortstop Mac McNiel.

Polk tied it up in the home half of the inning on a single, a two-out single and an error, making it 1-1.

The Wolverines scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the third on a single, wild pitch and an RBI single.

Pitcher Casey Gilbert had two singles and struck out nine. She reached safely in the fifth, and got the steal signal. She was thrown out at second.

Two batters later, McNiel hammered a triple to the center field wall, but she was stranded there.

The Lady Blue Devils end their season at 19-5, while Polk will play Franklin on Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers were 12-7 winners over North Surry last week. Franklin also finished second in the WNC Athletic Conference, just ahead of Brevard.


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