DURHAM, N.C. (WNCT) — Pushed to the brink in the softball season, D.H. Conley showed what it was made of Saturday.

The Vikings beat East Forsyth twice on Saturday after losing Friday’s best-of-3 series opener. The Vikings won 2-1 to force a deciding game then took a 3-0 victory to win its fourth fastpitch softball title and first since 2015. The Vikings also won in 2011 and 2013 in Class 3-A.

Conley (30-2) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Trinity Nichols was hit by a pitch then stole second and third. Emma Adams singled in Nichols for a 1-0 lead.

Mia Trueblood added to Conley’s lead in the fifth with a triple that drove in Riley Trueblood, who earlier singled. Olivia Knight then tripled in the Vikings’ third run, scoring Mia Trueblood.

Riley Trueblood was named series MVP.

East Forsyth (27-3) loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth before Knight made a dazzling grab at catcher to end the threat.

Emma Adams relieved starting pitcher Olivia Hadnott in the seventh after East Forsyth loaded the bases. A double play erased the threat before the Vikings got the final out to start the celebration.

Hadnott finished with 11 strikeouts to earn the win. She had a no-hitter through the first two outs of the sixth inning. East Forsyth pitcher Kierston Deal, who will play college ball at Oklahoma, had 40 strikeouts over the three games.

In Conley’s Game 2 on Saturday, Mia Trueblood’s sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh drove in Riley Trueblood, who earlier reached on a walk, to keep the season alive for the Vikings.

Emma Adams got the win for Conley, giving up a run on five hits.

East Forsyth scored in the first inning when Madison McCarthy’s single drove in Grace Flynn. Conley tied it at 1-1 in the fifth when Riley Trueblood, who walked, eventually scored after Mia Trueblood singled and got into a rundown.

East Forsyth defeated D.H. Conley 3-0 on Friday in Game 1.

Conley’s win salvaged a so-so state finals for teams in Eastern North Carolina. South Stanly beat Bear Grass twice to win the Class 1-A title, 4-3 on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday. Washington, which entered the Class 2-A state finals unbeaten, lost to West Stanly 4-1 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday.

West Stanly has now won three straight state titles.

South Stanly wins 1-A title

South Stanly vs. Bear Grass softball (NCHSAA graphic)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Bulls’ 4-0 win Saturday comes after South Stanly picked up a 4-3 victory in Game 1 on Friday at UNC Greensboro. A bases-loaded, two-out, two-strike triple by South Stanly in the bottom of the seventh inning allowed the Rowdy Rebel Bulls to beat the Bears.

South Stanly finished the season 30-3 with 13 straight victories. It was the program’s third state title and second for coach David Poplin. He led the Bulls to a state title in 2012.

Bear Grass Charter finished 24-6. It was the first trip to the state finals for the Bears.

South Stanly senior Ali Glover earned MVP after pitching a complete-game shutout, striking out 10 with four hits. She had a 16-strikeout showing in Friday’s win.

Kassie Swink and Alexis Harward singled to start Saturday’s game for the Bulls. Mattie Poulous then doubled to the wall in right-center to score Swink for a 1-0 lead.

Bears pitcher Madi Hall struck out the next three batters to get out of the jam.

South Stanly tacked on a run in the fourth when Mary Ryan Hinson walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, went to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball.

In the fifth, Harward doubled to left and later scored on a groundout by Poulous for a 3-0 advantage. South Stanly’s final run came in the sixth when Hinson doubled down the right-field line and later scored on a single by Tyson.

Hall finished with six strikeouts while giving up four runs on eight hits. She also had one of the best chances for the Bears to score after hitting a triple in the third. However, Glover recorded a strikeout to end the inning.

West Stanly three-peats with win over Pack

(NCHSAA graphic)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Washington (28-2) came into the Class 2-A state title series at the University of North Carolina on a serious roll. However, so did West Stanly (29-4).

The Colts rode strong pitching by Lily Huneycutt, who finished as MVP, to win their third straight state title. Huneycutt finished with 21 strikeouts, allowed three earned runs, five hits and two walks in 14 innings.

Washington got its first lead of the title series in the first inning Saturday after Morgan Eisenzimmer hit a two-run homer for a 2-0 advantage. West Stanly got a run back in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Elizabeth Ingle.

The Colts took the lead for good when Kristin Smith hit a two-run double in the bottom of the second for a 3-2 lead.

Huneycutt, who will play at Wingate, struck out 10 for the win. She overcame a scoring threat by Washington in the seventh when she recorded a strikeout with a runner on third to end it.

West Stanly has won the state title in 1997, 2013, 2019 and 2021. There was no state title in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Washington lost its first game of the season after West Stanly won 4-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-3 series. Honeycutt pitched a two-hitter in that game to end the Pam Pack’s winning streak at 28 games.