Weddington softball sweeps Northwest Guilford to punch ticket to 4A state championship

Weddington softball sweeps Northwest Guilford to punch ticket to 4A state championship

This spring, the state’s toughest softball gauntlet went through the 4A west region. Weddington aced the test.

The Warriors left no doubt on Thursday night when they took down Northwest Guilford 10-3 to complete a two-game sweep of the western regional championship series.

Game one was a nail-biting 1-0 victory. Six runs in the fourth and three more in the seventh burst the floodgates wide open in game two.

Joella Thomas struck out a dozen batters while allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits. The 7-8-9 hitters at the bottom of the Weddington order teamed up to not only score four runs, but drive in four of their own.

Northwest Guilford broke the ice three batters into the home half of the first. Bel Varadi crushed a solo home run to center for a 1-0 lead.

That score held until the start of the fourth when Thomas, Reece Lindsay, and Sammy Lamantia singled to start the frame.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, Jadyn Howell evened the score at 1-1. The senior ripped a ball on the ground to short, and the attempt to get the lead runner at the plate was dropped by the catcher. Déjà vu ensued as Ava McCauley sent the next pitch to third base only to see the throw home dropped again.

The score inflated to 4-1 with two down in the inning. Abby Peisker plated a pair thanks to the Vikings’ third error of the inning. Madelyn Miller singled home McCauley and Peisker to give the Warriors a 6-1 advantage.

In total, four of Northwest Guilford’s six errors came in the inning.

Thomas helped her own cause in the top of the sixth with an RBI single to left that allowed Adriana Lamantia to score.

Down 7-1, the Vikings chipped back into their deficit with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Varadi singled in Olivia Naylor before scoring Haylea Huffines base hit to right.

Weddington answered back in the seventh with three more runs to put the game out of reach.

Bella Lamantia singled home Howell and Sammy Lamantia. Peisker kept the line moving with two down in the inning by ripping a run-scoring single to left.

Next weekend’s location and opponent are to be announced. Duke University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro are this year’s host sites for the state championship series.

Top-seeded Garner battled back to claim game two of the 4A eastern regional championship series against Wake Forest. A winner-take-all game three will be played on Friday night at Garner. HighSchoolOT will have full coverage from that game along with next week’s championship series.