In a normal year, the week after Easter Sunday means high school softball tournaments for area high school teams.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Easter tournaments will not be held.
Last season’s campaign was cut short in mid-March due to the pandemic.
Teams have begun conference play in 2021.
Currituck County, Pasquotank County, Bertie County and First Flight will vie for the 2A Northeastern Coastal Conference championship this spring.
NCC members Northeastern and Hertford County high schools will not have softball teams this spring.
Camden County, Edenton’s John A. Holmes, Gates County, Manteo and Perquimans County will battle for the 1A Albemarle Athletic Conference championship.
AAC member Washington County will not have a team compete this spring.
In response to the pandemic, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association limited the number of regular season games to 14 contests with two games allowed to be played per week.
The NCHSAA state playoffs will be shortened from 64 teams in each classification to 32.
Each region (East and West) will each have 16 teams. All conference champions will secure an automatic berth to the state playoffs.
According to the NCHSAA, conferences with 1-6 active softball teams receive one automatic state playoff berth, conferences with 7-8 active teams receive two state playoff berths and leagues with nine or more teams receive three state playoff berths.
The season began March 15 and is scheduled to conclude on April 30.
The state playoffs are scheduled to begin May 3. The regional championship round is set for May 11 and state championship series are scheduled to be played May 14-15.
Albemarle School, a member of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA), will compete in 2021 in the Class 1A Tarheel Independent Conference.
Here is more on area softball teams:
Coach: Karen Booker
Last season’s record: 2-0 overall, 0-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference
Outlook: Currituck County has a majority young team this spring.
Karrigan Belangia (senior, pitcher and infield), Elizabeth Hewitt (senior, pitcher and outfield), Kylee Schojan (senior, catcher and infield), Gracey Capps (junior, first base), Regan Parker (junior, outfield), Eboni Bailey (freshman, infield), Addyson Romanczyk (freshman, pitcher and field), Mirenda Shields (freshman, catcher and infield), Kampbell Belangia (fireshman, outfield), Tatum Doneff (freshman, outfield) and Riley Parker (freshman, outfield) have been starters this season.
Booker noted the Knights are very young with six freshmen on the varsity team this season.
The coach noted four or five of the freshmen will be starters. The coach added that she hopes for seniors Karrigan Belangia, Schojan they will have a full season this spring. Both missed their sophomore seasons in 2019 due to injuries and having the 2020 campaign end after two games due to the pandemic.
The coach added there are multiple players in new positions and hopes the team will learn together.
JOHN A. HOLMES
Coach: J.P. Pippins
Last season’s record: 2-1 overall 0-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: The Aces return six starters from the shortened 2020 season.
In the starting lineup this spring for the Aces are Hannah Pippins (junior, shortstop), Sydney Spear (junior, centerfield and catcher), Olivia Hare (junior, catcher), Camryn Marrs (junior, pitcher), Reagan Privott (sophomore, third base), Molly Cobb (sophomore, second base, outfield and pitcher), Madison Griffin (sophomore, first base and second base), Marley Harrell (freshman, centerfield and first base) and Ashlee Richardson (sophomore, outfield).
Ellie Spear (freshman, outfield and catcher) and Sydney Kay Hedgepeth (freshman, outfield) have contributed this season.
Coach Pippins noted Edenton will go as far as their pitching will take the team. The coach added the Aces will be good defensively behind their pitchers.
Coach Pippins noted Holmes should be solid offensively. The coach added if the Aces can put everything together, the team will be competitive this season.
An important element to the season will be able to play good defense and score runs for the pitching staff.
After a pandemic shortened season, the coach noted the returning players are excited to play this spring.
Holmes has a 1-1 overall record with an 0-1 mark in the Albemarle Athletic Conference to begin the season.
Coach: Ricky Stallings
Last season’s record: 3-1 overall, 0-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: The Pirates return five starters from the spring 2020 season.
In the starting lineup are Faith Christian (senior, infield and pitcher), Maci Denson (senior, infield and catcher), Carly Elliott (senior, first base), Kaileigh Nixon (junior, centerfield), Kaitlyn Votava (junior, infield and catcher), Jewel Benton (junior, outfield), Lexi Williams (sophomore, infield), Eby Scaff (sophomore, outfield), Bristyl Ridddick (freshman, infield and catcher) and Breanne Shepherd (freshman, infield and pitcher).
Sydney Russell (sophomore, outfield), Morgan Baccus (freshman, outfield), Kenly Stallings (freshman, infield and outfield) and Marleigh Cooper (freshman, infield and outfield) have all contributed this season.
Coach Stallings noted if there are no COVID-19 setbacks, the Pirates should have a great season.
The coach added Perquimans County has quality players at key positions and should have solid defense along with strong bats on offense.
Perquimans has a 2-1 overall record to start the spring 2021 season.
Coach: Charles Nash
Last season’s record: 2-1 overall, 0-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: Despite losing multiple seniors from the 2020 team that helped the program win the 2019 NCHSAA 1A East Regional championship and finish as the 2019 state runner-up, Camden County has played well so far this spring.
Camden has a 2-0 overall record to begin the season. Camden freshman Carlyn Tanis leads the team with a .714 batting average (5-of-7) with three RBIs this season.
Camden’s Kamryn Nash (junior, shortstop) and Sydney Tatum (junior, infield and outfield) (4-of-8) and Morgan Gallop (sophomore, catcher and outfield) (3-of-6) are all hitting .500 to start the campaign.
Morgan Brewton (sophomore, pitcher and infield) has pitched in 10 innings and has given up four hits, no earned runs, two walks and registered 16 strikeouts in the circle.
Roster: Caroline Pait (sophomore, outfield), Taniya Swinson (senior, outfield), Ruby Arnette (freshman, infield), Skylar Hyatt (senior, catcher), Peyton Carver (sophomore, infield), Kensey Tarkington (junior, outfield), Carleigh Simmons (senior, first base), Tessa Dodson (freshman, catcher and infield) and Lexi Jones (senior, pitcher and infield).
Coach: Nicole Delosreyes
Last season’s record: 2-1 overall, 2-1 Tarheel Independent Conference
Outlook: The Colts are scheduled to play conference games this spring.
Roster: Maci Higgins (sophomore), Samantha Nixon (senior, third base, catcher), Dharma Howell (freshman), Makinzie Stokley (seventh), Addie Proctor (eighth), Andi White (sophomore), Peyton Robertson (sophomore), Emiley Harris (freshman), Miranda Parker (sophomore) and Madelyn Delosreyes (freshman).