WHITEVILLE — Whiteville scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to edge Princeton 3-2 Friday night to sweep the Eastern Regional 1A softball championship.
The Wolfpack (25-6) won the first game of the best-of-3 series 4-3 Wednesday night and will now face the Western champ next weekend at Raleigh’s Walnut Creek.
Freshman first baseman Sage McLelland, played a big role in the win Friday with a homer, her ninth of the season, in the bottom of the first and delivered a bases-loaded single in the fifth to tie the score and set up a bases-loaded walk to Lauren Worley that scored the winning run.
Princeton finished the season 19-6.
After a weather delay of one hour and 45 minutes, the Bulldogs rallied to tie the score in the third. Leadoff hitter Charley Cox reached on an errorand scored on another Wolfpack error on a ball hit by the Bulldogs senior pitcher Teri Paul.
The visitors from Johnston County took the lead in the top of the fifth against Whiteville reliever and eventual winning pitcher Malerie Leviner. Catcher Kelsey Peedin started the rally with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second by Taylor Carroll, and scored on a hard-hit double to left by leftfielder Hailey Wood, who had two of her team’s six hits. .
The Bulldogs got runners on base throughout the game, but stranded nine.
“We just couldn’t hit the ball like we normally do,” Princeton coach Terry Braswell said of the missed opportunities. “I guess their pitchers just kept us off balance.”
With just three seniors, Princeton looks to be continue to be strong next year. The Bulldogs reached the fourth round of the playoffs last year.