Four third-inning runs by Hickory Post 48 spelled doom for the Burke County Post 21 American Legion Lady Fastpitch softball team, which ended its season Monday at Catawba Meadows Park with a 6-1 loss to open the Area IV playoffs.
Co-Western Division champion Post 21 (10-7) left seven runners on base, with its lone run coming off a fourth-inning solo home run to right field by Ashlyn Castle.
It marks Burke’s third straight first-round exit after the team took third place in the league’s inaugural year of 2017 as Hickory downed Burke for a third time this summer.
“It’s unfortunate our season ended tonight. We’ve battled all season hitting the ball well but just didn’t produce tonight,” said Burke coach Mike Hasson.
Castle led the way by getting on base three times including a first-inning walk and a sixth-inning single.
Maddie Crouch (first-inning walk), Elle Tanner (sixth-inning walk), Regan Winkler (sixth-inning single), Hailey Snodgrass (fifth-inning walk), Mikayla Lingafelt (fifth-inning single) and Maddison Powell (7th inning double) also reached base for Burke.
In her final appearance in the circle for Post 21, Tanner struck out four in a complete-game performance.
“Our numbers have been low, but these girls that are here have been committed all season,” Hasson added. “I’m very proud of these girls and their commitment to this team. We are young and have room for growth.”
Hickory advances to play the first-round winner between Rutherford Post 423 and Lincoln Post 30 (a game rained out Monday and rescheduled for late Tuesday). That area semifinal contest takes place today at the higher seed.
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