CURRITUCK — The Watauga 10-under girls’ softball team reached the semifinals of the state tournament before falling to rival Wilkes County 12-0 in the leaving Watauga with a third-place finish.
Watauga beat Shelby 2-0 in the semifinals of the tournament July 20 on a day when the field temperature was more than 100 degrees at 1:30 p.m.
Despite the rising temperatures, Watauga pitcher Brenna Yates struck out 12 batters and Olivia Ray closed out the game on the mound in relief. Watauga’s Faith Hagaman and Presli Wood each scored one run.
Watauga advanced to the final four in the state championship by beating Currituck 7-1 July 19. Ray and Yates combined to strike out eight Currituck batters.
Offensively, Watauga’s Gwen May had two singles, a double and drove in two runs from the cleanup spot. May also scored two runs.
Watauga finished with 11 hits in the win.
The tournament did not start so well for Watauga, which found itself in the loser’s bracket after falling to eventual tournament champion Edenton 9-0 in the opening round on July 18.
Watauga bounced back the July 19 with a 13-3 win over Erwin to advance. Yates registered eight strikeouts. Ava Carignan, Ray, Wood, and Addelynn Honeycutt each scored two runs. Wood, Ray, and Hagaman each had two RBIs.
Watauga’s win over Currituck later on July 19 set up its win over Shelby July 20 and its showdown with Wilkes County.