D.H. Conley, South Central prepare for next round of state playoffs
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Friday, May 18, 2018
D.H. Conley has defied the odds as a 19 seed in the 3-A state softball tournament, making an improbable run past several high-seeded schools on its way to the fourth round.
The Vikings travel to Elon to face No. 2 seed Western Alamance at 6:30 tonight.
What was an initial shock has grown into confidence and knowledge that no matter the seeding, the Vikings will always have a shot a winning the game.
They began their run with a 4-1 defeat of 14 seed West Johnston, followed up by a huge 5-3 upset over third-seeded Cape Fear in the second round. Continuing the momentum, the Vikings beat out six seed C.B. Aycock 9-7 in Round 3.
After a 17-8 regular season, the Vikings exploded into the playoffs, catching fire both offensively and defensively at the right time. That fire will need to continue to burn bright as they approach their match-up with Western Alamance, who went 23-3 in the regular season, but the Vikings have proven that stats and predictions can be thrown out the window in the postseason.
No. 3 Heritage at No. 2 South Central
Two seed South Central will face its toughest test yet, as the Falcons take on three seed Heritage tonight at 6 in Winterville.
This will be the second meeting of the year for the two squads, as SC took the first game on the road April 12, 5-4.
Following a first-round bye, SC managed to avoid an early exit against No. 15 Lumberton, 6-5, in the second round. The Falcons also pulled out a close win against 10 seed Wake Forest, 7-5. Now, the Falcons will face their highest-seeded opponent yet, but one they are familiar with in Heritage.
D.H. Conley at Chapel Hill
The Vikings enter their fourth-round playoff game on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the second seeded Chapel Hill Tigers, who will try to preserve their 12-0 scoring differential against opponents this postseason.
The Vikings, however, also bring to the table a scoreless postseason, recording a 7-0 total through the playoffs.
After defeating 27 seed Lee County 5-0, the Vikings took down 22 seed Cedar Ridge in the second round, 1-0. Their most recent victory was a third-round upset of three seed Terry Sanford, 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The underdog for the second consecutive time, the Vikings look to once again defy their seeding.
Contact Jake Keator at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.