High School Playoffs
Six Rutherford County teams won first round games.
Now, we are down to three teams left out of seven that made the postseason this Spring by this week's deadline time. R-S Central's softball team had won in the first two rounds, while East Rutherford and R-S Central baseball have made it two rounds as well.
R-S Central Softball has won two games by an 18-1 count so far this postseason, but had to visit Lake Norman Charter Tuesday. If they won, they would go to Madison or host East Davidson Friday (5.19.17) The goal this week is to win twice more and the Lady Hilltoppers have reached the regionals.
Baseball is a little more simple to deal with as East Rutherford will play R-S Central for the third time this year and in the third round of the playoffs. If East Rutherford wins, they will continue to travel on Friday (5.19.17) since they would be the highest seed remaining in the West. However, traveling didn't stop them last year from winning it all.
R-S Central would remain to have home field advantage unless they have to face Forbush during regional play, which is a best of three series. The Hilltoppers have won in two consecutive shutouts. East Rutherford won by 10 runs in round one and then clipped East Lincoln 1-0.
As for the other four, Chase softball put up a valiant effort against Forbush in the first round, who has a state finals appearance twice in the last three years. The young Lady Trojans lost 10-4 and were the last team to get in. They lose three seniors in Maggie Robbins, Cassidy Pinkerton and Jori Whitesides. Pinkerton was a heck of pitcher all four years, but was nagged by injury this season.
R-S Central soccer won their first round game at home 6-2 over Lexington as a 16-seed in the 2A West, but lost to Hendersonville in the second round on the road, 6-0. The Lady Hilltoppers had went 7-2-1 since Spring Break to make the run they did in order to find the playoffs. Alina Chavez and Reed Kennedy were the only two seniors on the club. Chavez was by far one of Central's best attributes and was as good with the ball as she was without it.
East Rutherford Soccer had the toughest schedule and played well throughout the season. Last week, they won their first girls soccer playoff game in school history after beating Mt. Pleasant 6-0. They were then defeated 3-2 by a solid Lake Norman Charter club, who beat East by four goals earlier in the season. I'm glad to see that Emily Elgin and Abigail Smith got a playoff win at East, but those two seniors have ended their high school careers, along with Victoria Whiteside and Ashton Davis.
Thomas Jefferson soccer whipped Atkins 6-1 in the first round of the 1A playoffs, but coincidentally ended the season with a 6-1 loss at Bishop McGuinness in the second. Just four seniors Mikayla Burleson (15 goals), Erin Tevis, Ali Huston and Brianna Crouse were the only four seniors on the team. Freshman, MacKenzie Hamrick led them with 34 goals this season.
The All-Star weekend has arrived in Charlotte, but unfortunately Aric Almirola won't be driving. It's a shame to see Joey Logano break a rotor in the right front which caused Danica Patrick and Almirola into a three-car crash of total destruction at Kansas, leaving Almirola with a fractured vertebrae. Although, Logano has ruffled the feathers of about every Cup driver in the series, Saturday night was not his fault as cameras clearly showed.
No doubt, Almirola will be out for awhile, but I do hope for a quick and full recovery. Almirola is one of the nicest I ever met in the garage. He gives a good interview and also a pleasure to talk to in general. He is humble and I like that. He may become even more humble after a crash like that...if that's even possible.