Jul. 21—Trailing 7-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Caldwell Post 392 needed some late-game drama to get by Shelby Post 82 in the first round of the American Legion Area IV softball playoffs. A two-out throwing error allowed the winning run to score, and Post 392 came away with an 8-7 walk-off win.
Playing through a steady drizzle, Shelby jumped out to a 2-0 lead through three and a half innings, but Caldwell stormed back in the bottom of the fourth. Kadie Becker led off with a walk and scored on an Anna Reeves single to center, making the score 2-1. With one out, Kaylee Anderson reached on a sharply hit ball that hit Shelby pitcher Mackenzie Hayes in the right forearm. That set up Zoe Waters, who hit a rocket up the right-field line to score Reeves and move Anderson to third. With two out, Abby Reeves' single to left plated Anderson to put Caldwell up 3-2 before Hayes was able to get out of the inning with her sixth strikeout through four innings.
Shelby took control with five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-3 lead, but Caldwell didn't let the big inning dampen its spirits and cut deeply into the lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Becker reached on a one-out infield hit and eventually moved to third. Sydney Wike drew a two-out walk, and Anderson blooped a single to right that got Becker across to make the score 7-4. Wike moved to third and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-5 through five.
In the bottom of the sixth, Caldwell got a lead-off double from Abby Reeves, who scored when Jillian Jones followed with a double of her own to left-center. Jones found her way over to third base but could get no further. Peyton Boggs and Becker both hit sharp line drives that were snagged by Shelby second baseman Taylor Black, and Post 392 trailed 7-6 heading into the seventh.
Jones, who came on in the sixth to relieve starting pitcher Becker, shut down Post 82's last threat in the top of the seventh to set up the drama in the bottom of the frame.
Wike led off the inning and struck out, but the ball was dropped and she reached first base to avoid an out that would prove to be critical just a few minutes later.
Anderson moved Wike to second on an infield hit, and both runners moved on a passed ball to give Caldwell runners at second and third with one out in the inning. Wike scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 7-7, and Anderson was thrown out at home for what should've been the inning-ending out to send the game to extras. Instead, Cam Crisp drilled a double to center to put the game-winning run in scoring position. Abby Reeves drew an intentional walk to put runners at first and second with two out. Crisp took off to steal third, and the attempt to throw her out got past Shelby's third baseman and Crisp scored from there to give Post 392 a walk-off win and advance to Tuesday's second round.
Caldwell (12-7) faced Wilkes Post 31 on Tuesday at West Wilkes High School. Post 31 (16-1) won all four regular-season meetings against Post 392.
Golf U.S. Junior AmateurMaddox Whittington shot a 3-over-par 75 on a wet Monday at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.
Whittington's round on the Dogwood Course was steady through most of the day. He bounced back from a bogey on the 432-yard par-4 second with an eagle on the 519-yard par-5 fifth and got through the first nine holes at one under par with a 35.
A three-hole stretch of bogey-double bogey-bogey on 14, 15 and 16 gave him a score of 40 on the inward half and put him at 1-over for the tournament. Kelly Chinn blistered the field with a round of 8-under par on the Dogwood Course.
He led Rylan Shim by two shots heading into Tuesday's second round.
Whittington was scheduled to tee off at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday on the first hole of the Cardinal Course.