Four-base trot

West Wilkes junior shortstop Kacey Triplett rounds second after connecting on a three-run home run in the second inning Friday against West Stanly.

The softball umpires showed up 30 minutes late Friday in Millers Creek.

The West Stanly bats, however, showed up early.

West Stanly hit two grand slams and scored 11 runs in the first two innings, en route to an 11-5 victory over West Wilkes in the 2A West Region semifinals.

After playing small ball in building a 3-0 lead in the first, the Colts switched to the long ball. Junior Kailey Furr cleared the bases with a slam to right center with one out, making it 7-0.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the second, West Stanly’s Meredith Harwood—a UNC-Greensboro signee—launched a ball that just barely cleared the fence in right center. The Colts led 11-0.

West Wilkes, stunned by the visitors’ outburst in the first two frames, sliced into the lead after junior shortstop Kacey Triplett jacked a three-run homer to center in the bottom half of the second.

After the Blackhawks left three runners stranded in the fifth, West Wilkes freshman Jayla Fisher completed the scoring with a no out, two-run homer to center in the seventh.

West Stanly southpaw pitcher Jordan Hatch, a senior who has signed with East Carolina University, got the complete-game win on the mound to improve to 17-0 on the season.

West Wilkes freshman hurler Lily Proffit (12-1) lasted five innings and took her only loss of the season. Senior Carly Parsons tossed the final two frames for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks, winners of five straight titles in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference, finish the season at 16-1.

The 17-0 Colts move on play at East Lincoln in the 2A West Region finals on Tuesday. West Stanly is the defending 2A state champion. The Colts also won the state crown in 2013.

Colt catcher Shelby Barbee, a senior who will play for the University of Virginia next spring, is the reigning 2A state playoff MVP. She’s hitting over .600 this season with nine home runs.

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