MONROE – The Parkwood softball team, fresh off its 2017 NCHSAA 2A championship, kept its unbeaten record intact with a huge win over Marvin Ridge, who had been their biggest rival and toughest foe this season.
Last season, the Rebels went 27-3 and won the state championship as the No.6 seed by coming from a 1-0 deficit to beat South Granville 2-1 in the best-of-three series. This year, after a 17-0 start, the Rebels are getting everyone’s best shot, but have not been defeated after a conference-clinching win over Marvin Ridge and recent big wins over Cuthbertson and Charlotte Catholic.
The Rebels held a two-game lead over the Mavs as the teams squared off on April 25, but Parkwood was looking to close the regular season with a perfect record and the Southern Carolinas crown.
And they did just that.
The Rebels wasted little time, scoring twice in the first inning. That was more than enough for standout junior pitcher Caroline Ruth, who tossed a one-hit gem as the Rebels blanked the Mavs 3-0 to finish the regular season unbeaten.
The week before the Rebels kicked off a two-game week with a 5-0 win over Charlotte Catholic on April 17.
Ruth tossed another beauty, allowing just two hits and recording a season-high 17 strikeouts to shutout the Cougars.
Ruth also went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs to lead the offense. Amber Parker added three base hits and drove in a run and Mary Pierce Barnes went 2-for-4 at the plate.
On April 20, the Rebels continued their perfect season with a 10-2 win at Cuthbertson.
In the win over the Cavs, it was the usual suspects shining again as Ruth homered and drove in three runs and Barnes went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a pair of stolen bases and two RBIs.
Chloe Hardy drove in a pair of runs and Sarah Harkins, Courtney Fink and Parker each added RBIs.
Ruth allowed five hits and two runs, just one of which was earned, and struck out 14 batters through seven innings to pick up another win from the circle.