Topsail softball shut out in Game 1 of 4A East Regional Series

Opportunities came and went for the Topsail softball team Tuesday night. 

The 15th-seeded Pirates went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners on base in a 3-0 loss at No. 8 Apex in Game 1 of the NCHSAA 4A East Regional Series.

Topsail (15-7) will need to win at home Wednesday at 6 p.m. to keep its season alive and forced a Game 3, which would be back at Apex on Friday evening at 6.

Sophomore center fielder Emmy Clark had two of the Pirates’ six hits. She singled with two outs in the top of the first inning and advanced to second base when Jaylyn Noble reached on an error. 

Both runners were stranded when Apex (19-6) pitcher Maddie Degnan got Rylee Reuter to ground out.

Clark led off the fourth inning with her second single. Reuter walked with one out, and both runners advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt from Jocelyn Velezquez.

Degnan again worked out of the jam by catching a pop up off the bat of Olivia Smark.

Down to its final three outs, Topsail showed some fight as Velasquez and Smark hit back-to-back singles to begin the seventh inning.

Pinch hitters Brooklyn Beatty and Taylor Cavanaugh as well as leadoff batter Zoey Vincent all flew out to end the game.

Vincent and Kennedy Sloan had the other hits. 

Apex grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Avery Dearman doubled, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out infield single from No. 9 hitter Anamie Whittlesey.

ECU signee Kaleigh Ayscue hit a two-run home run over the right field fence in the fifth inning to complete the scoring.

Whittlesey and Ayscue each collected pair of hits. Degnan scattered six hits and struck out four batters to secure the victory.