North Duplin’s postseason journey ended with a 3-1, second-round loss to Camden County in the NCHSAA 1A playoffs on Wednesday evening.
The Rebels finished the season with a 12-1 overall record, and North Duplin head coach Ricky Edwards said he could not be prouder of his team.
“I thought it was a good softball game. Both teams played well, and Camden County was able to get a couple of hits together and get a couple of runs,” Edwards said. “It was a very good softball game. I’m mighty proud of the team and what they’ve done, and it’s great for our community.”
The Rebels found themselves down 1-0 when Camden County’s Carleigh Simmons hit a home run in the top of the first inning.
However, North Duplin tied things up in the bottom of the third when Logan Ray Jones hit a double, and Calle Thornton hit an RBI single that enabled Ray Jones to cross home plate.
In the top of the fourth, the Rebels found themselves in a jam. Camden County managed to load the bases, but Thornton struck out Camden County’ Ruby Arnette to get the Rebels out of the inning.
“We came right back and battled and never quit,” Edwards said. “That was really big, and they didn’t score in that inning at all. Callie pitched extremely well, and we were able to get out of the inning.
“The girls just kept battling the whole time.”
North Duplin was unable to score any runs in the bottom of the fourth, and in the top of the fifth, Camden County scored two runs to take a 3-1 lead.
The Rebels tried to things up again, but Camden County held off the Rebels to get the win and advance to the third round.
“They strung some hits together, and we didn’t,” Edwards said. “It was a good ballgame, and we knew they had a good team and that coming in it was going to be a battle.
“It always tough to end, but that’s part of life. You have to pick yourself up and keep going.”
Seniors Thornton, Ivey Cashwell and Hannah Martin played their final game in a Rebels jersey, and Edwards thanked them for being leaders on and off the softball diamond.
“They’ve led all year long, and these girls have played softball a long time, and that group of seniors is outstanding,” Edwards said.