Champagne walks off in South's opener

By DONNELL COLEY
Sports editor
Posted 3/1/22

A game-winning hit sealed South Johnston softball's first win to start the 2022 season.

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Champagne walks off in South's opener

Posted

FOUR OAKS — Hollyn Champagne grooved a two-out pitch into left field to end a marathon season opener for South Johnston softball over visiting Midway, 9-8, Tuesday.

The game-winning walk-off double in the 10th inning ended a three-hour-plus matchup between two feisty clubs that South coach Ashley Ennis feels mirror each other. 

"There really is no loser here. ... Both teams showed heart. Both teams showed that they won't give up, that they're gonna battle back no matter what the score is," said Ennis. 

"Both teams will be better for having played this game."

Midway (0-1) started the showdown with a bang as senior captain Rylie Williams took a solo shot deep to center field in the first inning to make 1-0. 

The score would hold until the third when South (1-0) answered with four runs sparked by Allison Stewart's walk and later Victoria James' RBI double. The Lady Trojans led 5-2 after the fifth inning. 

In the sixth, the Lady Raiders scratched across two runs and trailed 5-4. They got one more across in the seventh to tie things at 5 and force extras. 

Both teams scored one in the eighth and two in the ninth, setting up Champagne's heroics in the 10th to bring home Lanna Price. 

The Lady Trojans had 13 hits, led by Price's 4-for-6 effort. Kennedy Byrd paced the group on the mound with nine strikeouts through eight innings, while James came in relief and held a scoreless 10th. 

Cassidy King led the Lady Raiders with three hits, including a home run, and two RBI. 

South plays again Wednesday at North Johnston, while Midway looks to rebound at home Friday against nearby rival Triton. 

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