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RMA softball season ends one step away from title game

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By PATRICK MASON
Sports Writer

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Rocky Mount Academy softball team suffered its second loss in as many days as its season came to an end on Saturday in the semifinals of the NCISAA 2-A playoffs.

The Eagles lost, 3-0, to Halifax Academy.

The teams were playing for a berth in the state championship game against Freedom Christian Academy. FCA went on to beat Halifax Academy, 6-3, to win its second consecutive state title, and third in four years.

“We ended up 19-3 and that’s a magical season for anybody,” RMA coach Chuck Braswell said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. They fought hard all year and gave it everything they had.”

RMA started the bottom of the seventh with an Emily Winstead walk, but she was stranded as a pair of groundouts and a rare call by the home plate umpire that the batter made contact with the ball while out of the box was made to end the game. 

The Eagles were coming off a 2-0 loss in 16 innings to the eventual state champions on Friday, a defeat that placed them in Saturday morning’s play-in game.

In that loss, Eagles pitcher Winstead recorded a whopping 33 strikeouts, but the team couldn’t get that elusive run across. Timely hitting proved to be a problem on Saturday, too, as the Eagles were shutout for the second consecutive game.

RMA had only been shutout twice over the past two seasons before Friday.

“If you would have told me we would be shut out two games in a row, I would have bet my house on it,” Braswell said. “Sometimes it doesn't bounce your way. We hit a lot of hard balls right at people, and Halifax Academy, they made every play they needed to make.”

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