South Brunswick gets past Kings Mountain in first game of 3A softball series

South Brunswick gets past Kings Mountain in first game of 3A softball series

Given the fact that South Brunswick’s Kina Davis and Kings Mountain’s Madeline Huffman had combined to allow just 19 earned runs on the mound this spring, it was pretty easy to theorize that the clubs’ state title softball series would be a low-scoring one.

That assessment proved to be spot-on for the initial matchup of the best-of-three showdown Friday in the Class 3-A State Finals at the Duke University Softball Complex as hits — and runs — were at a premium.

Both hurlers offered near-flawless performances, but Huffman made two critical mistakes — and both were deposited by the Cougars over the fence for gargantuan solo home runs.

Ironically, it was Davis who registered one of those blasts — a shot to dead-center field that gave South Brunswick the lead for good in the top of the third stanza of action.

Teammate Ty Cummings tacked on another longball in the top of the sixth for insurance, and that was more than enough assistance for the dominant Davis, who rolled through the Kings Mountain lineup en route to overseeing a 2-0 victory that brought the Cougars one victory away from their first-ever state championship.

Fifth-seeded South Brunswick, now 26-4 overall, can wrap up that crown Saturday at 2 p.m. in Game Two of the series. If the Mountaineers (24-2) rally for a victory in that contest, a winner-take-all contest will be played later in the day at a time to be determined.

Davis, a junior, carved through the Mountaineers’ strong lineup by allowing just four hits while striking out 12 and walking just one. She worked her way out of a second-and-third jam with one out in the third before striking out the side in the fourth — and cruising from there.

But Davis has also stood out at the plate in 2024 with nine home runs — and No. 10 would send the Cougars ahead in the third when it landed halfway up the hill over the center-field fence.

Huffman, just a sophomore, gave up just four hits of her own, but two of them would prove to be costly. The righty whiffed 10, but the Mountaineers struggled defensively with four errors.

Kings Mountain has won two state championships in its softball history, coming in back-to-back fashion in 2005 and 2006. But for the Mountaineers to secure a third title, they’ll have to win a pair of games on Saturday — and somehow find a way to solve Davis, who is now 19-4 on the year with 313 strikeouts and only 15 walks to go with a 0.50 earned-run average.

A multi-faceted threat, Davis is also batting .420 with 17 extra base hits — with none more important than her eventual game-winning homer Friday to send the Cougars on the cusp of a championship in only their second finals appearance, the other coming as part of a runner-up journey in 2007.