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D.H. Conley, South Central prepare for next round of state playoffs


D.H. Conley's Peyton Farmer, left, smiles after hitting a single during their game against Topsail during the Easter tournament at Sara Law Softball complex on March 31, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


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 jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


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High Schools

June 17, 2018

The D.H. Conley football team is known for its spectacular athletes. Fast, physical and athletic are all adjectives often used to describe the Vikings players.

The Vikes finished with an 11-2 record in 2017, led by a perfect 6-0 mark in Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A play. With star quarterback…


June 17, 2018

Ayden-Grifton sophomore Jackson Upchurch knows what it means to work hard and grind to improve at the plate.

Upchurch batted for a .418 batting average, 24 runs, 23 hits and 11 RBIs, which earned him hitter of the year honors for The Daily Reflector’s All-County Baseball Team.…

061018-All County Baseball

June 17, 2018

J.H. Rose senior Hunter Christopher knows how to retire batters.

Christopher had an ERA of just 0.72 in his final season with the Rampants, helping to earn him the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference player of the year honor and The Daily Reflector’s All-County pitcher of the year accolade.…

061018-All County Baseball

June 17, 2018


Zach Byrum, D.H. Conley: Byrum knew how to punish pitchers from the plate in his senior season. He tallied a team-best .378 batting average, and also led the Vikings in runs (35) and hits (31). He also earned 11 RBIs.

Drew Nichols, South Central: The senior once again improved…

061018-All county baseball

June 17, 2018

D.H. Conley baseball coach Jason Mills has shown that he knows how to get the best out of his players, both on and off the field.

The Vikings posted a 21-6 record, along with a 9-3 record in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. They spent the season consistently ranked in high regard by…

061018-All County Baseball

June 16, 2018

North Pitt football is ready to turn the corner in 2018.

After a 1-10 season in 2017, the Panthers have a new coach in Greg Watford and they are eager to post a bigger number in the win column.

“It’s been tough out here, especially last year, but we are ready to go out and turn…


June 15, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Pitt County Post 39 put in yet another strong showing Friday night to open the American Legion Showcase Baseball Tournament at Pitt Community College. Post 39 defeated Post 256 of Jacksonville 10-3 to improve to 14-0 this season.

“We had smaller numbers tonight than normal…


June 15, 2018

The J.H. Rose Rampants are used to success. They are accustomed to winning conference titles and playoff games, but after a 3-8 season in 2017, the Rampants are looking to get back to those winning ways. 

The Rampants’ 2018 roster is filled with seniors, ones who head coach Dave Wojtecki…


June 15, 2018

South Central football and track and field athletes Dexter McDuffie and Emannuel Lewis both signed letters of intent to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, respectively, on Thursday afternoon. 

“Obviously they are great…


June 14, 2018

The South Central Falcons are ready to take the next step, the step to a state title.

The Falcons finished with an impressive 10-3 record in 2017, going 5-1 in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. 

With the team’s only losses coming at the hands of Southwest Edgecombe on Aug. 31, 28-…

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