BOONE — The Watauga softball team had a tough test to start its Northwestern Conference season.
The Pioneers had to host defending 3-A state champion South Caldwell March 9. The Trojans looked as if they were on target to make a run at a second title by blasting Watauga 18-0 in five innings.
The Trojans (3-1, 1-0 NWC) scored in every inning, finished with three home runs and allowed just one base runner to reach third base. The Pioneers (0-4, 0-1) finished with two hits — one each from Gracie Presnell and Gracie Proffit — and the Trojans allowed six base runners.
Offensively, South Caldwell got two home runs from Regan Weisner and another from Jasmine Hall. The Spartans collected 17 hits, five that went for extra bases, and accepted eight walks, six that were converted into runs.
Weisner’s first home run capped a five-run second inning that gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead. After South Caldwell scored three runs in the third inning, the Spartans scored seven runs in the fourth inning. Both Weisner and Hall hit three-run home runs during the inning.
Watauga plays a make-up game at Alleghany on March 11 and plays at traditional NWC power Alexander Central on March 13.