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R-S, TJCA Fall in Playoffs, Baseball Still in Season

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The spring high school sports season has come to a close, but not without a valiant effort by a couple of teams last week.

R-S Central's softball team (18-5) made the sweet 16, but fell to upstart 11 seed in Parkwood, 3-1 at home to end the season. Parkwood's Caroline Ruth threw a four hitter and the Lady Rebels were able to get just enough run support to end one of Central's greatest softball season's of late. Haley White, who tossed a three hitter, looked good from the pitching circle, but the bats couldn't get going. It's one of just a couple of times that has happened all year long.

You definitely have to feel bad for their only senior on the team in Makayla Crawford, batting .537 and collecting six home runs this season as the catcher. If there is an upside for the R-S Central, Crawford will be the only player they lose as they head into next season.

Thomas Jefferson girls soccer also made the third round, but was defeated 2-0 at Union Academy. Considering they hit a snag in the road mid season, the Lady Gryphons played to their potential in the postseason. They upset the No.1 seed in a shootout, but losing to Union Academy isn't all that bad. Union Academy is in the final four in 1A and has pitched a shutout in every game so far this postseason. Five seniors will not be around next season and played an integral role this season. Alyssa Edwards, Ashley Thompson, Erin Collins, Lily Nelson and Malarie Harris all served as captains this season during the 8-8-1 2015 campaign.

While high school sports have officially ended until August, there are two types of area baseball that is just starting up for only the summer.

The Forest City Owls are back this season and will host Florence on 5/29, Catawba Valley on 5/30, Edenton on 6/2 and Asheboro on 6/4 at McNair Field.

Post 423 Legion baseball is also back for this season. After Memorial day, they play just two games at home during the next nine games. They will host Cherryville on 6/1 and Asheville on 6/7 at McNair Field at 7pm.

Indy 500: It came down to Scott Dixon, Juan Montoya, Will Power and Charlie Kimball for the kiss at the bricks on Sunday. Despite a plethora of passing during the last 15 laps, Montoya made the right one with less than five to go on the high side in turn one. Montoya held on despite last ditch effort from Power to win his second Indy 500. It should be no surprise. Montoya was fast one year ago before settling into a top ten finish. The top four were all Chevy power as Honda had nowhere near enough power to make any sort of run at the end.

Otherwise, the attrition rate and down the stretch racing was overall solid. I am more satisfied that there were no major crashes with injuries. Well, there was the pit road incident between James Davison and Pippa Mann. Had his crew held Davidson one or two more seconds, the whole incident likely never happens. Davison's car clipped two crew member from another team who were servicing a car on pit lane. Mann, who was already coming down pit road along the inside couldn't merge outside due to a car already beside her. Davison tagged Mann's race car sending Davison into a spin that upended both crewmen. One crew member walked away, the other was hospitalized with no further word.

Coke 600: Once again, Martin Truex Jr. loses the lead down the stretch and finishes fifth. This time, it was fuel mileage that defeated the Furniture Row machine driven by Truex. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth all saved enough fuel to make the 600 distance after their final pit stops. Edwards ended up with better track position than the others who stayed out and won the Coke 600. Truex seemed to have the best car for much of the night as he led 115 laps. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick also were not bad, but Truex looks tough, especially on 1.5 tracks so far this season. He has 11 top tens in 12 races so far as well.

Kudos to Kyle Busch, who made it all 600 miles and finished 11th in his first full race back from having both legs surgically repaired following an accident at Daytona in February. However, next week maybe just as tough. The NASCAR Series has Dover this coming weekend. That's one tough place and not a place a driver ever wants to hit the wall at.

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