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Lady Knights win SPC tournament title

Ray Gora / Lincoln Times-News North Lincoln’s Austen Rice runs down the third base line against Bessemer City on Friday.

Ray Gora / Lincoln Times-News
North Lincoln’s Austen Rice runs down the third base line against Bessemer City on Friday.

North Lincoln softball drops East Lincoln 5-2 in title game

Staff report

The North Lincoln Lady Knights varsity softball team wrapped up a Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference Tournament championship with a 5-2 win over the East Lincoln Lady Mustangs on Friday.
The conference regular-season champion Lady Knights reached the championship game with a 10-1 win over Highland Tech on Thursday and an 11-2 victory over Bessemer City in the early game on Friday. The No. 3 Lady Mustangs took a 5-3 win over No. 2 West Lincoln to reach the championship game.
East Lincoln took a 1-0 lead over North Lincoln in the top of the first on a double by Haley Meza. Booth Braswell hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a passed ball and crossed home on Meza’s hit.
The Lady Knights tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Gabby Solomita hit a leadoff single and crossed home on a two-out single by Jayden Maddox.
North Lincoln took the lead it held for the rest of the game in the bottom of the second. Sidney Russell led off the inning with a double, stole third and crossed home on a passed ball for a 2-1 North Lincoln lead.
Russell hit an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to give the Lady Knights a 3-1 lead. Shauna Griffin followed her with a two-RBI double for North Lincoln’s final runs of the game.
East Lincoln scored its second run in the top of the seventh. Jennifer Allison was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Carly Johnson.
Hollyn Franklin was the winning pitcher for North Lincoln with a complete-game effort with seven strikeouts and eight hits. Johnson took the loss with a complete game outing with four strikeouts and 12 hits.
The Lady Mustangs took a win in the semifinal game when they broke a 3-3 tie with West Lincoln with two runs in the top of the seventh.
The Lady Knights jumped out early on Bessemer City with a five-run first inning, including a three-run home run by Franklin.
Russell hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third and Payton Bruce hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to give North Lincoln an 8-0 lead. Courtney Trickle hit a solo home run in the sixth and Caroline Franck hit an RBI double for North Lincoln’s final runs of the game.
Franklin pitched five innings against Bessemer City and had two strikeouts and two hits. Franck pitched two innings in relief with one strikeout and three hits.
Solomita, Austen Rice, Trickle and Maddox all had two hits apiece against Bessemer City.

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