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The Independence Blue Sox won the 8-under USSSA state championship in Roanoke, over teams from the counties of Botetourt, Roanoke, Pulaski, Wythe and Henry. The Blue Sox outscored their opposition a combined 90-39 in their six games.
Galax overcame a bee down a shirt, a blood-sugar drop and a grueling three-setter to defeat Clark County 5-0 in the girls’ Group A state tennis semifinals. Mallory Shaw, Rachel Cockerham, Emily Cockerham, Loren Liebrecht and Brandi Overstreet each won their singles matches for the Tide.
John Michael Durnovich stroked a two-out, two-strike, two-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning as Grayson County edged Bath County 4-3 for the Region C title. Jesse Hampton shut out Bath for 5 2/3 innings and left with a 2-0 lead. He re-entered in the top of the 10th and earned the win to improve to 3-0, extending the Grayson staff’s string to 35 innings without issuing a walk.
Grayson County allowed five unearned runs in the top of the second and couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 5-4 to J.J. Kelly in the state quarterfinals.
Galax’s Chad Roberts finished fourth in the Group A 800 meters finals at VMI to earn all-state recognition.
After years of falling a one win short, Carroll County earned its first Group AA state tournament berth by winning the Region IV championship 5-4 over Gate City. Carroll trailed 4-2 before Tony Berrier’s two-run, ground-rule double tied it in the bottom of the seventh. Berrier scored the winning run on a two-out walk-off balk.
Carroll clinched the state berth with a 4-3 win over Abingdon as Kenny Ward improved to 10-0 with the pitching win. Jason Kilbourne’s two-run double gave the Cavaliers a 4-1 lead.
Carroll County rallied with nine runs over the final three innings to overtake Independence in a Southwest League game. Jody Stone and Randy Lyons each had a two-run double, while Mike Montgomery pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out 14.
Galax opened Southwest League play by defeating Max Meadows 4-3 on Tommy Brown’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Galax scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. Brown pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight.
Carroll County won its Southwest opener by building an 8-0 lead and holding on for an 8-7 win over Wytheville. Rightfielder James Goad threw out the potential tying run at the plate for the game’s final out. Wayne Sumner and Timmy Douglas had two hits each for Carroll.
Woodlawn pounded out 20 hits and defeated Pulaski 11-6 in a New River League game. Clayton Byrd and Lake Newman each had four hits and Roger Byrd added three for Woodlawn.
Galax and Sparta played to a 5-5 tie in a game called after 11 innings. Sparta scored a run in the top of the 11th but Ralph Berrier doubled to drive in the tying run in the home half.
In other Blue Ridge League action, Independence knocked off Galax 13-4 and Lenoir 3-0. Ronnie Webb and Mack Bobbitt had home runs in a losing effort for Galax. Howie Nunn pitched the Blue Jays to the win over Lenoir, giving up four hits and striking out 10.
The Independence Blue Jays maintained their lead in the Blue Ridge League with a 7-1 win over Piney on Friday and a 4-3 defeat of Marion on Saturday.
Fries scored six runs in the first inning and downed Galax 16-9 in a Virginia-Carolina League game. Harrell and Jennings had two hits each for Fries and Hanks had two hits for the Leafs.
The Independence High School athletic banquet was held, where championship trophies were awarded for the Blue Devils winning District T in baseball, track and girls’ basketball. The baseball and girls’ basketball teams were undefeated, and the Lady Blue Devils also won the Twin Counties championship.
The West Galax baseball team took a weekend series from the Galax Knitters, winning 16-3 Saturday at Felts Park and 10-6 Sunday at Fairview School. Eugene Cockerham was the winning pitcher on Saturday. In Sunday’s game, Bill Blair took the mound in the fifth and allowed one baserunner, striking out 11 of the 16 batters he faced. Edward Cockerham had a two triples, a double and a single for West Galax.
Eighteen players took part in the second ladies’ golf tournament of the season at Galax Country Club. Mrs. Dan Waugh had the low gross score and Mrs. Joseph Coates had the low net. Mrs. Paul Kapp had the fewest putts while the team of Mrs. Robert Nelson, Mrs. E.B. Cox, Mrs. Garland Anderson and Mrs. Phipps was the low foursome.