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Bladen County softball team reaches SWAC 16U state final

Members of the Bladen County 16U All-Stars are Front Row (Left-Right): Katelynn Brisson, Briley Stanley, Olivia Allen, Kennedy Carroll, Madison Taylor, Mackenzie Singletary. 
Standing (L-R): Coach Jamie Singletary, Lauren Pait, Taylor West, Hannah Pait, Taylor Lewis, Hailey Guyton, KyLee Ward, Kadance Hammonds, Coach Taylor Stephens. 
Back Row: Coach Mackie Singletary.


TARBORO – Kadance Hammmonds pitched a four-hitter and drove in a pair of runs Saturday afternoon as the Bladen County 16U All-Stars defeated Tarboro 6-3 in the semifinals of the Statewide Activities Committee softball state tournament at Indian Lakes Sports Complex.

Hailey Guyton had a pair of triples and scored twice for Bladen County, which will meet Henderson-Vance in the championship game Sunday at 11 a.m. If Bladen County wins, the teams will play a second game.

Henderson-Vance advanced to the title game with a 13-1 win over Bladen County on Saturday in the four-team double-eliminaton tournament. Henderson-Vance defeated Tarboro on Friday night.

BLADEN COUNTY 6, TARBORO 3

Hammonds, who pitched a no-hitter in Friday night’s 18-0 win against Warren County, struck out six and walked four in the semifinal victory.

Lauren Pait and Madison Taylor each had a hit and drove in a run for Bladen County. Taylor West and KyLee Ward each had one hit.

Bladen County put together a two-out rally to score twice in the first inning. MacKenzie Singletary walked and courtesy runner Kaitlynn Brisson scored on Pait’s triple to left. Taylor followed with a single that score Pait.

Tarboro’s Taylor Williams had an inside-the-park home run in the second for its first run, then used two hits and an error to score twice in the top of the third for a 3-2 lead.

Bladen County regained the lead in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs. Guyton opened with a triple to right and scored on Hammonds’ single. Courtesy runner Briley Stanley proceeded to steal second, third and home around a pop out and walk.

Guyton’s second triple led to a pair of Bladen County runs in the fourth that made it 6-3. The blast to right scored Ward, who had reached on an one-out infield single. Guyton scored on Hammonds’ ground out to short.

The game was called after five innings because of the time limit.

HENDERSON-VANCE 13, BLADEN COUNTY 1

Harley Newman struck out eight and allowed two hits in Henderson-Vance’s triumph in the winner’s bracket final.

Henderson-Vance broke open a close game with a nine-run fourth inning for a 13-0 lead. Henderson-Vance sent 13 batters to the plate and used five hits, five walks and an error in the rally. Seven of the runs scored after there were two outs.

Bladen County scored its lone run in its final at-bat, the fourth inning. Hannah Pait had a one-out single to right to break up Newman’s no-hit bid. She advanced to second when Taylor walked and scored on Lauren Pait’s single to left.

West started in the circle for Bladen County. She didn’t allow a hit in three innings, struck out three and walked six. She was charged with four runs (two earned).

Hammonds walked the first batter in the decisive fourth inning, then Taylor finished the frame, allowing eight runs (four earned) on five hits with four walks and a strikeout.

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