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Lady Panthers walk off on Currituck error

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KENLY — An error by Currituck County on North Johnston senior Blayke Batten’s bunt scored Lindsey Massengill with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Lady Panthers in the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A softball playoffs Tuesday night. 

Massengill’s leadoff double in the eighth set up Batten for the sacrifice bunt, but an errant throw by the Lady Knights third baseman allowed Massengill to score from second and give North Johnston a 4-3 win. The No. 3 seed in the East Region, the Lady Panthers (20-5) escaped, despite giving up two unearned runs in the seventh inning with two outs. 

North Johnston scored two runs in the first inning on a single by junior Samantha Davis to score sophomore Arial Pearce and Batten. The third run was provided by senior Amberlynn Pearce’s groundout in the third inning to score Pearce from third base.

Amberlynn Pearce gave up eight hits in eight innings of work in the pitching and earned the win. The senior also struck out five of the No. 6 Currituck County (18-4) batters.

The Lady Panthers will travel to No. 2 South Granville for a rematch of last season’s 2-A East finals at 6 p.m. Friday. North Johnston’s last two postseason trips have been ended by the Lady Vikings (16-2).