Cape Fear Christian Academy softball wrapped up its second straight conference championship.
FAYETTEVILLE — Cape Fear Christian Academy senior Mariah Bell had two words of encouragement for her softball team ahead of Friday’s road matchup: Unfinished business.
The short phrase came as a result of the March 25 loss at Freedom Christian Academy, the team’s only NCISAA Sandhills Conference defeat in the past two seasons.
“We played them here and we lost so I just wanted to make sure we got our revenge,” Bell said following her Lady Eagles’ 4-3 road win in eight innings to claim a second straight conference title.
“It was good. It just shows that we can come back and fight hard.”
Bell was held to just one hit against FCA (15-4) ace Rylan Miller during the previous loss.
But the University of Mount Olive signee had two of CFCA’s (15-4) six hits Friday, which she said was a result of adjusting to the league’s player of the year.
“Well, we already knew what to expect and we were just watching out for those good pitches that she (Miller) throws,” Bell said.
Fellow Lady Eagles senior Kim Bordeaux jumpstarted the offense early, lifting a two-run home run to left in the first inning.
The Methodist University signee also got the surprise start from inside the circle and answered with 13 strikeouts through eight complete innings.
The fourth inning saw FCA finally get to Bordeaux, getting three runs to take a 3-2 lead.
The score held until the sixth when Bell beat out a throw to first. She stole second, then third, and eventually came home on a wild pitch to knot things at 3.
Both pitchers posted zeros over the next two frames, but it was Bell’s speed that produced more offense in extras. She beat out another throw to first in the eighth before stealing second.
Rhyleigh Horne came through with an RBI to bring Bell across to make it 4-3.
Despite a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half, Bordeaux got a groundout and then secured the championship with a punchout.
The Lady Eagles now gear up for another state championship run and enter the NCISAA postseason tournament as the 1A’s top seed. CFCA hosts Northeast Academy at home Thursday with first pitch coming at 4 p.m.
Bordeaux, Bell, Horne, Claire Parker, Cailee Ray and Megan Harrold each earned all-conference honors.
Donnell Coley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-230-2040.