East Regional Final
Camden softball set to clash with Louisburg in Game 1 of 1A East Regional Final
By Malcolm Shields
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
The Camden and Louisburg softball teams have similar traits.
Both rely on a majority of underclass players to contribute in their lineups, while both have standout sophomore pitchers.
The two clubs will clash in Game 1 of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 1A East Regional Finals at Louisburg High School today.
The series is a best-of-three format.
Camden is slated to host Game 2 on Wednesday and if necessary, the third and final game of the series will take place at Louisburg on Thursday.
The winner of the series advances to the 1A state championship series next week.
Camden coach Charles Nash noted after the Lady Bruins defeated Northside-Pinetown in the fourth round on May 18 how his team has come together since the beginning of the season.
The combination of youth and experience has been key for the No. 4 seed Lady Bruins (21-2-1).
Three of the top four batting averages on the team are held by seniors.
Morgan Nash (.515), Kayla Russell (.437) and Cailey Byrum (.422) are first, third and fourth respectively on the team.
Freshman Carleigh Simmons is second on the team with a .453 average.
Bunting, a sophomore, has been solid for the Lady Bruins pitching in the circle during the state playoffs.
She has only surrendered three earned runs during the playoffs and has registered a total of 41 strikeouts in three playoff games.
That includes an 18 strikeout performance against Manteo in the Lady Bruins’ 2-1 win in the second round.
Not only is Louisburg, the region’s No. 2 seed, young, but it is also experienced.
The Lady Warriors (19-4) return the majority of the team that advanced to last season’s 1A East Regional Final series.
Just like Camden, Louisburg saw its 2017 campaign end at the hands of Whiteville as the Lady Wolfpack swept the Warriors two games to zero to advance to the 1A state championship game series.
Last spring, Camden lost to Whiteville 5-4 in nine innings in the second round of the state playoffs.
Whiteville is now in Class 2A.
As for this season’s group of Warriors, sophomore Laine Barefoot has led the Warriors in the circle.
Barefoot boasts an 0.91 earned run average with 134 strikeouts on the season.
Barefoot has only allowed two earned runs in three game in the playoffs.
Kaylee Saunders, a junior, leads Louisburg with a .417 batting average.
Freshman Abigail Fagan is second on the the team with a .339 batting average, while sophomore Chelsea Roberson is third with a .333 average.