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Lady Barons were impressive

They were literally down to their last strike.

I couldn’t believe it myself. It was the first time I had seen Gates County High School’s softball team play all year and here they were, about to lose to Williamston High School.

It would have been one thing if the Lady Tigers had scored their two runs off good hits and excellent base running. While they did have both, the runs came off Gates County errors and both were unearned.

And there stood shortstop Alexis Gallop at the plate. After having ripped a base hit to open the game, she had gone 0-for-2 in her next trips to the plate.

The count went 0-2 and I wasn’t sure there was any coming back from it. Gallop then worked the count to 3-2 and I knew she had a chance.

Obviously, so did she as she laced a single to center. She went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Jalisa Bradley single. Bradley scored moments later on a base hit by Amanda Brown and the game was tied and headed for extra innings.

The person who stole the show to me, however, was Courtney Hobbs. I was very impressed with her pitching, her work ethic and her ability to settle her team no matter what they were facing.

She was one of those pitchers that any coach would love to have on the mound.

Head Coach Lulu Eure was confident all along. She kept telling her team they were still in the game, even when they were down to that last strike…the one that never came.

The Lady Barons head into tomorrow’s state semifinals to meet Pender County. Like Gates County, Pender took extra innings to advance to the eastern finals.

It should be a good game to say the least.

No matter what Gates County accomplishes, you’ll have to give them credit for never giving up. The Lady Barons could have quit in the seventh when it seemed like the game had slipped away.

They could have quit again in the ninth when the Tigers loaded the bases with one out. They didn’t either time.

They stood up and they did what winners do, they took the game back and fought for all they were worth.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to be there last Friday. It was an amazing game and it was one of the most fun to cover of the season.

I certainly wish the Red Barons all the best as they attempt to bring home a state title. None of the four who are there deserve it more.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.