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Rally keeps Grayson season alive; Carroll girls win 21st straight

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ROUND-UP

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MARION –– Grayson County scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning – four with two outs – to overtake Richlands 6-5 in the Conference 39 baseball semifinals Tuesday at Marion High School.

The top-seeded Blue Devils (18-3) had two vastly different experiences with Richlands in their regular season meetings, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Blue Tornadoes on April 1 and whacking Richlands 18-5 last week. Trent Davis, the Richlands lefthander responsible for the April win, held Grayson to one run on four hits until things got screwy in the bottom of the seventh.

Trailing 5-1 and with one out, two walks and an Eric Hawks single loaded the bases for William Vaughan, who singled to cut the gap to 5-2. Ty Whitter’s ground ball brought in a run but also constituted the second out, but the third would not happen for the Blue Tornadoes. Back-to-back walks forced in a run and loaded the bases, and Koby Hill’s grounder to the right side went for an infield single, scoring Vaughan and Will Lawrence, who motored all the way from second to score the winning run.

Davis allowed Grayson just six hits but issued 10 walks and hit a batter. Hill had two of those hits for the Blue Devils. Hawks worked the final three innings for Grayson, giving up one unearned run to record the pitching win.

The Blue Devils returned to Marion to face the host Scarlet Hurricanes in the conference title game Thursday.

SOFTBALL

Grayson County 11, Marion 1: The Blue Devils used a seven-run third inning to power past the Scarlet Hurricanes in the Conference 39 semifinals Wednesday in Tazewell.

Tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the third, Grayson County scratched out six hits, including a two-run Rachel Burris single, to take command. Autumn Halsey tripled and scored on a Burris single in the fourth, and the Blue Devils ended the game on the 10-run rule with two runs in the fifth. Claire Circle tripled and scored on a wild pitch, Chelsey Callahan singled and Karly Morris tripled, driving in Callahan to finish off Marion.

Burris was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Callahan went 3-for-4 for the Devils. Morris and Morgan Hall added two hits for Grayson. Callahan pitched 12/3 innings of hitless middle relief to pick up the win.

Carroll County 11, Bassett 0: The Cavaliers ran their record to 21-0 with a Conference 24 semifinal win Wednesday in Hillsville.

Leading 1-0 after one on a Hannah Dalton RBI single, Carroll County scored 10 runs over the next two innings to finish off the Bengals in five innings. With the bases loaded in the second, Tiffanie Moore singled in a run and Gracie Davidson drew a walk, setting up back-to-back two-run singles from Cheyenne Strickland and Dalton.

In the third, Davidson’s ground out brought in a run, Strickland added an RBI single before Dalton came through again with another two-run single.

Bassett managed one base-runner off of Cavalier pitcher Sydney Nester before loading the bases in the seventh, but Nester struck out leadoff hitter Morgan DeHart to end the day. She allowed three hits and walked one while striking out eight.

Dalton finished with five RBIs on a 3-for-3 effort and Strickland was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Moore and Sydney Childress also had two hits for Carroll, which hosts Jefferson Forest tonight (Friday) in the conference title game. Both teams advance to next week’s Region 4A North tournament.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Galax 6, George Wythe 0: The Maroon Tide defended its Conference 46 championship, shutting out the Maroons and Fort Chiswell at Pendleton Field in Wytheville.

Brayan Estrada scored three goals in Wednesday’s championship game win over George Wythe as Galax improved to 16-1 on the year.

In Tuesday’s semifinals, Estrada and Josehl Urbina each tallied two goals and Edgar Guzman added one in a 5-0 blanking of Fort Chiswell.

Grayson County 2, Tazewell 1: In Richlands, the Blue Devils got two quick goals from Micah Cowley to earn a spot in next week’s Region 2A West tournament.

After a scoreless first half, Tazewell took the lead two minutes into the second half. Cowley popped in two goals within five minutes to push the Blue Devils into the lead and Grayson held off the Bulldogs down the stretch.

Grayson County returns to Ernie Hicks Stadium tonight (Friday) to face Graham for the conference championship.