HARTSVILLE — The Rockingham Ponytails all-star team cruised past Hartsville 9-1 on Tuesday night, advancing to a Wednesday championship matchup with South Carolina in the Dixie Softball Ponytails World Series.
It was the Rockingham, North Carolina team’s second win over Hartsville, eliminating the hometown favorites from the tournament.
When Hartsville pushed across a run in the top of the fourth on a fielder’s choice, it was the first run Rockingham has allowed in the World Series. It was also just the seventh run Rockingham pitchers have surrendered in district, state or World Series play.
Paige Ransom led the way for Rockingham’s offense with two doubles and three runs batted in. Jakerra Covington recorded a two-run triple. Jadyn Johnson, Madison Jordan and Covington all scored two runs.
Ransom started the game in the pitching circle and didn’t allow a hit in two innings. Johnson hurled two innings, surrendering two hits and Hartsville’s lone run. Payton Chappell pitched the final two innings and issued a walk. It was the first time in the World Series that Rockingham was forced to play all six innings.
Rockingham was set to face the South Carolina state champion team at 6 p.m. Wednesday. South Carolina remained alive with a victory over Florida.
Champions’ first clash
HARTSVILLE — The last undefeated teams in the Dixie Softball Ponytails World Series squared off Monday night as Rockingham, the North Carolina state champion, hit the field against South Carolina.
The winner would stand two wins away from a World Series crown. The other would have to fight its way back through the losers’ bracket to keep its championship hopes alive.
Rockingham remained undefeated after tossing back-to-back four-inning no-hitters to open the World Series. Rockingham rolled past Hartsville, the host team, in the opener. It then cruised to victory over Florida Sunday night.
Rockingham surrendered its first hit of the tournament in the top of the fourth inning as South Carolina’s Kennedy Peele singled to left. It was the only baserunner South Carolina would get as Rockingham pulled away late for a 10-0 victory in five innings.
Ragan Liles pitched all five innings and struck out seven for Rockingham. Jadyn Johnson and Paige Ransom both had triples in the win. Ransom added two runs batted in. Mattie Liles had a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth.
“Hits…timely hits,” Rockingham coach Matthew Liles said. “Paige had two big hits. Mattie Liles had a good hit and scored two big runs. Ragan pitched well. I’m very proud of these young ladies.”
Reach Richmond County Daily Journal managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.