RALEIGH, N.C. – The Princeton Bulldogs entered game two with their backs against the wall, just a few hours after that game two win, they found themselves in a perilous situation once again. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning of the decisive game three of the 1A Softball Championship series, the Bulldogs scratched across a run in the bottom of the fifth as Megan Bryant raced home on the two-out RBI-single by Hailey Wood, cutting the North Stanly lead to 2-1.
Princeton sent Wood back out to the pitching circle for her sixth inning of work in the game, what would be her tenth on the day, and she managed to work around a pair of one-out singles in the top of the sixth by the Comets, holding the Bulldogs within a run.
Comet starting pitcher Sam Hogan had been almost untouchable through the first five innings, only allowing four hits, all singles, and just two runs as she went back to the circle for the bottom of the sixth. But after Emily Ricks worked a lead-off walk in the inning, Bulldogs sophomore left fielder, Casey Mitchell, stepped into the batter’s box. She worked the count full from Hogan and then belted a two-run home run to lift the Bulldogs to the lead for the first time on the day at 3-2. Mitchell would later be named the series M.V.P.
Mitchell’s shot sent senior hurler Wood back out to the circle with a chance to close out North Stanly in the top of the seventh. Wood worked a perfect 1-2-3 seventh to shut the door on the Comets and secure Princeton’s first fast-pitch softball State Championship in school history with a 3-2 win.