Union shutout in round one
May 8—The Lady Spartans year fizzled out with two shutout losses to end the year. On the pitch, the Lady Cougars were able to render an aggressive front inert after 80 minutes, 3-0. In the diamond, the Lady Spartans were unable to score a run off the powerhouse Lady Rebels and fell, 6-0.
Union and Neuse faced off for the third time this year in round one of the Carolina 1A tournament. Like the other matches they fell but were held scoreless this time, taking the loss, 3-0.
The Cougars were able to hold strong against a squad that has a penchant for playing tough soccer. Though they were undefeated against them, it was always down to the final whistle with Union's relentless offensive line. This round, they were shutout and sent home, 3-0.
Coach Evert Cruz had this to say following the loss with few words.
"It was a tough loss, it was a hard game for both sides."
The Lady Cougars would be defeated in the finals by Sampson's own, the Hobbton Wildcats, 4-2.
Sums up the feeling of walking away early from the tournament. The Lady Spartans are not finished however, as the state tournament kicks off this week. Union ends the regular season at 9-9-1 and a conference record of 5-5.
Following a slew of on and off play, the Lady Spartans slipped into the tournament as the No. 4 seed for the conference. They faced off against the North Duplin Lady Rebels who had defeated them twice in the regular season. The Spartans would be eliminated in a shutout, 6-0.
Despite the score, it was a tight game with Duplin only managing to score in three innings at two a piece. The Lady Spartans held firm in the infield and outfield allowing only six runs in comparison to the 25 they allowed in their previous matchups.
However, the plate appearances have been the crux for this team and it reared its ugly head once more as the Spartans remained silent on offense. The game fizzled out for Union and they were sent home early, 6-0.
The Lady Rebels would go on to trounce Rosewood and take the crown, 11-1.
Blake Travers was disappointed to walk away early but happy with the team's performance against the stout squad in the other dugout. He commented.
"I'm pretty happy with the effort our girls put in. They (N. Duplin) are obviously a very strong softball program. To only give up six runs is a testament to our pitching and defense. If our bats were a little louder...I think we could have stolen that one."
The Lady Spartans will await the announcement of the NCHSAA seeding in hopes of another opportunity to play again. The finish the regular season 6-10 and 3-6 in conference play.
Reach Anthony McConnaughey at [email protected] or on Twitter @SampsonSports