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Cashie team finishes second in region

WILSON – One of the team goals was met.

Alas, another slipped just out of their grasp.

The Cashie Youth League 18-and-under softball team was able to avenge its losses to Pitt County in the state Babe Ruth tournament by winning in the third round of the Southeast Region tourney held here last weekend.

Unfortunately for the Windsor-based team, Pitt County came back to win three games Sunday and claim the Southeast Region championship. Cashie, however, still finished second in the three-state region and earned a bid to the Babe Ruth national tournament later this year.

The Cashie squad opened the Southeast Region tournament by rolling past Virginia champion Skyline 13-1.

The ladies from Windsor scored eight times in the first inning, all coming with two outs.

Courtney Dunlow started the two-out rally when she walked. Leanne Eubanks followed with a single and then Mindy Miller loaded the bases when she reached on a walk.

Holly Cowands base on balls sent Dunlow home and then Brittany Hoggard singled home Eubanks. Chelsea Dunlow had a two-RBI single and then Brittany Howell reached via an error to allow two more runs to score.

Megan Cowan then homered to provide the 8-0 lead after one inning.

On the mound, Cowan walked one and gave up a base hit in the first inning, but settled down to strike out five in the five-inning contest.

Cashie continued to score in the second inning when Miller reached on a walk, Cowand singled and Hoggard walked. Chelsea Dunlows RBI-single finished off the inning with Cashie holding an 11-0 advantage.

Cowand and Hoggard scored again in the fifth to complete the victory.

Cashie continued to roll in the second contest, defeating Varina from Virginia by a 15-0 count.

Again, the Windsor-based club jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first inning.

Courtney Dunlow reached on a walk and Eubanks got aboard via fielders choice. Cowand then laced a two-RBI double into right field to provide the early cushion.

Cashie added to their lead in the second when Cowan, Courtney Dunlow, Eubanks, Miller and Howell all scored.

In the third inning, Hoggard reached on a single and then Chelsea Dunlow got aboard via fielders choice. After Howell walked, Cowan singled home Dunlow to make it 8-0.

The Cashie squad added six more runs in the fourth frame and then one in the fifth to secure the victory.

Those two wins set up a rematch with Pitt County, the only team Cashie had lost to during any round of the Babe Ruth playoffs.

The contest was close the entire game with Cashie pulling out a 2-0 victory thanks to Cowan scoring twice. She led off the first inning with a single and then scored on an RBI-groundout by Eubanks.

Cowan scored again in the third inning when she had a base hit and scored on an RBI-single by Abby Parker.

Those two runs were all Cowan would need as she was nearly perfect on the mound, surrendering just two hits and one walk and never allowing a runner past second base.

The first game of the championship series saw Pitt win 8-1 and force a deciding game.

Each team loaded the bases with no one out in the first inning, but each failed to score.

Pitt finally got on board first with a run in the third inning. They added four in the fifth and three in the sixth.

The only run for Cashie came when Miller reached on an error and scored when Cowand did the same.

The second game was a nail-biter from the beginning.

Pitt County scored twice in the first inning on two errors and two hits and edged Cashie 3-2 to take the title game.

The two runs held up through most of the contest. Cashie threatened in the third when Hoggard reached on a dropped third strike and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chelsea Dunlow. She was left stranded, however, after two pop ups.

Mandy Bazemore got to second in the bottom of the sixth when she singled and went to second on a groundout, but was also left stranded.

Pitt added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on four hits to take a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Courtney Dunlow singled to center and then went to second when Eubanks did the same.

Both runners came around to score when Miller singled to left.

Cowand reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and second. A flyout and a double play, however, ended the contest.