Galax surprises Wythe for title

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By The Gazette

Galax handed George Wythe just its second team loss of the season, winning the Conference 46 girls’ tennis championship with a 5-3 win Wednesday at Felts Park.

The Maroon Tide took four of the six singles matches to head into doubles with the advantage. Paige Hanks disposed of Kayla Matheny 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles while Susan Davis rallied from a set down to get past Rebecah Storms 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

Wythe claimed singles wins at Nos. 3 and 5 while Galax picked up team points with Kayleigh Funk’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Emaleigh Thompson at No. 4, and Ashlyn Haga, filling in for an ill Jessica Garman, came up big for the Tide with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win over Abby Davis at No. 6.

Galax clinched the title when Hanks and Davis defeated Storms and Payton Yates 6-4, 7-5 at No. 1 singles.

Both teams advance to the Region 1A West tournament next week against opponents to be determined.

The Maroon Tide breezed through its semifinal match, blanking Rural Retreat 5-0. Hanks, Davis, Lindsey Ayers, Funk and Carleigh Pack all won in straight sets for Galax. 

George Wythe shut out Fort Chiswell 5-0 in the first team semifinal.



Pulaski County 10, Carroll County 4: The Cougars strung together a six-run rally in the fourth inning to blow open a tight ballgame and went on to the River Ridge District win Wednesday at Bill Worrell Field.

Leading 3-1, Pulaski combined four hits with two errors, two walks and a hit batter to expand its lead to 9-1. Daniel Safewright got the ball rolling with an RBI single, and a hit batsman forced in the second run of the inning. A bases-loaded walk and RBI singles from Jessee Draper, Grant Osteen and Tanner Dotson capped the uprising.

Trace Davis doubled to drive in two Cavalier runs in the bottom of the fourth and Chris Marshall came home on a ground out to cut the gap to 9-4 but the Cavaliers would get no closer.

Davis and Seth Burris each had two hits for Carroll County while Pulaski County was led at the plate by Tyler Blevins and Jake Callahan with two hits apiece.

Grayson County 12, Bland County 0: The Blue Devils jumped on the Bears with eight runs in the first inning while Tyler Lundy and Matt Cornett teamed up for a no-hitter in an MED game Tuesday in Bastian.

Luke Wilson had a two-run double to give Grayson County the lead for good, William Vaughan followed with a two-run triple and Cornett doubled to drive in a pair in his second at-bat of the inning.

Max Rodgers hit a solo home run in the second and Koby Hill added a two-run shot in the fourth for Grayson County. Five different Blue Devils had multiple-RBI efforts.

On the mound, Lundy struck out five and walked two in three innings of work, while Cornett struck out three in two innings.

Galax 20, Narrows 5: The Maroon Tide got 20 runs out of just eight hits, swamping the Green Wave in an MED game Tuesday at Felts Park.

Galax drew 13 walks and was further aided by four Narrows errors to end its regular season with a 10-9 record.

Stew Merdian collected seven RBIs on the day, driving in two runs on each of his three hits, plus drawing a bases-loaded walk.

Galax scored 18 of its runs in three innings, opening with a seven-run first, scoring five in the second and tacking on six in the fourth.

The Tide’s big start came courtesy of just two base hits as Galax drew five walks and Narrows committed two errors in the first inning. Chase Garvey highlighted the inning with a two-run single. Merdian and Daniel Larrowe each stroked a two-run single as the lead grew to 12-1 in the second.

Narrows got a Brandon Stowers grand slam to close to within 12-5 in the top of the third, but Galax came back with two in the bottom half of the inning and added six more in the fourth, including a two-run Merdian single and a pair of bases-loaded walks.

Bryant Cox also had two hits for Galax. Jacob Stuart picked up the pitching win, giving up five runs on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Caleb Spurlin tossed 2 1/3 hitless innings in relief, striking out three.

Cave Spring 5, Carroll County 2: The Knights answered a Cavalier run with two of their own on two occasions and held on for the River Ridge District win Tuesday in Roanoke.

Carroll County took a 1-0 lead in the third when Noah Johnson singled and later scored on an Ethan Webb base hit, but Cave Spring came back with two in the bottom half of the inning when Alex Emery doubled to drive in a run and later scored on Kodi McIlwraith’s double.

Carroll County pulled to within 3-2 in the fifth when Johnson singled and scored on a passed ball, but again Cave Spring came back with two in its half of the inning. Chase Cundiff doubled and scored on Cole Flora’s two-base hit, and Sam Walker singled to bring home Flora.

Webb and Johnson combined evenly for four of Carroll County’s seven hits. Cundiff and Walker had two hits each for the Knights.

Cundiff also recorded the pitching win, giving up two unearned runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Salem 4, Carroll County 0: Cody Dooley allowed just two Cavalier baserunners and slugged a two-run home run in the third inning to lead the Spartans to the River Ridge District win Monday in Salem.

The Spartans led 2-0 when Dooley launched his two-run shot with two outs in the third.

On the mound, Dooley gave up a first-inning single to Reece Edwards, then retired 18 straight Carroll County batters before Ethan Webb managed a single with one out in the seventh. Dooley struck out nine.

Seth Burris pitched six solid innings for Carroll County, allowing three earned runs on nine hits. He struck out four.



Floyd County 1, Grayson County 0: In a preview of a possible Region 2A West matchup, the Buffaloes made their one first-inning run hold up thanks to a stellar effort by pitcher Christene Phillips to take the nonconference win Wednesday in Floyd.

After stranding two Grayson County runners in the top of the first, the Buffaloes (14-4) put together what would prove to be the game-winning rally in the home half of the inning. With Aimee Royal on second via a fielder’s choice and a stolen base, Riley Underwood drove a double into left field to score Royal for an early 1-0 lead.

Grayson County pitchers Chelsie Callahan and Autumn Halsey went unscathed the rest of the afternoon, giving up two singles over the final five Floyd turns at bat. Callahan worked four innings, giving up the one run on four hits. Halsey finished up with two hitless innings, striking out three.

But Phillips was on her game as well. The Floyd hurler allowed just three Grayson County singles over seven innings, striking out seven and walking one. Two Blue Devils reached on errors.

The best scoring opportunity for the Blue Devils (14-4) came in their final at-bat, when Rachel Burris and Karly Morris both singled with one out. But Phillips got a strikeout and a comebacker to end the rally and seal the win.

Cave Spring 3, Carroll County 1: The Cavaliers’ senior day was spoiled by the Knights in a RRD game Tuesday in Hillsville.

Taylor Asimakopoulos allowed Carroll County one run on eight hits in a complete-game effort in the circle for Cave Spring (18-1). Abby Beatty had three hits and Pami White added two for the Knights. Tiffanie Moore scored Carroll County’s lone run and had a pair of base hits for the Cavaliers.