32 local teams in NCHSAA baseball and softball playoffs
By Richard Walker
Sixteen high school baseball teams and 16 high school softball teams from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties are among the state’s state championship tournament that was announced on Saturday by the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
Kings Mountain (Big South 3A), North Lincoln (Western Foothills 3A), Lincoln Charter (Catawba Shores 1A/2A) and Burns (Southern Piedmont 1A/2A) won baseball championships and Crest (Big South 3A), East Lincoln (Western Foothills 3A), Lincoln Charter (Catawba Shores 1A/2A) and Burns (Southern Piedmont 1A/2A) won softball championships.
All teams begin play on Tuesday, with winners advancing into the upcoming rounds – May 13 second round, May 17 third round, May 20 regional semifinals, May 24 through 28 best-of-three regional finals and a June 3 and 4 best-of-three state championship series.
In baseball, eight teams have top seeds and will host first round games while eight teams have lower seeds and will travel in their first round contests. And two matchups are local teams facing one another – East Lincoln hosts Forestview in 3A and Cherryville hosts Piedmont Community Charter in 1A.
Here are the first round baseball matchups:
No. 3 Kings Mountain (19-5) hosts Tuscola
No. 5 North Lincoln (17-5) hosts North Iredell
No. 11 East Lincoln (16-6) hosts Forestview
No. 12 Crest (16-7) hosts Rockingham County
No. 17 South Point (14-7) at West Rowan
No. 22 Forestview (12-10) at East Lincoln
No. 24 North Gaston (11-10) at East Rowan
No. 3 Burns (21-3) hosts West Wilkes
No. 7 Lincoln Charter (18-4) host Surry Central
No. 16 East Gaston (19-6) hosts Pine Lake Prep
No. 24 Shelby (14-10) at Bandys
No. 32 Lincolnton (13-8) at Randleman
No. 3 Cherryville (15-9) hosts Piedmont Community Charter
No. 19 Mountain Island Charter (6-12) at Starmount
No. 30 Piedmont Community Charter (10-9) at Cherryville
No. 31 Highland Tech (7-15) at Draughn
In softball, eight teams have top seeds and will host first round games while eight teams have lower seeds and will travel in their first round contests. And one matchup has local teams facing one another – Mountain Island Charter hosts Piedmont Community Charter in 1A.
Here are the first round softball matchups:
No. 1 East Lincoln (21-0) hosts West Charlotte
No. 2 Crest (21-2) hosts Central Academy
No. 11 Cramer (19-3) hosts St. Stephens
No. 14 North Lincoln (18-8) hosts Enka
No. 20 North Gaston (13-10) at Oak Grove
No. 25 Kings Mountain (10-11) at Hibriten
No. 27 Forestview (13-10) at Rockingham County
No. 7 Burns (20-3) hosts Pine Lake Prep
No. 9 Lincoln Charter (14-4) hosts Wilkes Central
No. 18 West Lincoln (19-6) at R-S Central
No. 27 East Gaston (12-12) at Bandys
No. 7 Mountain Island Charter (12-6) hosts Piedmont Community Charter
No. 8 Cherryville (14-8) hosts Swain County
No. 22 Highland Tech (10-8) at South Stokes
No. 26 Piedmont Community Charter (10-5) at Mountain Island Charter
No. 31 Bessemer City (3-14) at East Wilkes
The local group of playoff teams include record-setting regulars and teams making their first appearances in a few years.
Cherryville’s baseball and softball teams are the leaders in appearances as the Ironmen baseball team is making its 55th appearance and area-record 22nd straight and the Ironmen softball team is its 26th appearance, third straight and 25th in 26 seasons.
Other long playoff streaks belong to Kings Mountain (Cleveland County-record 18th straight), Crest softball (15th straight), South Point baseball (15th straight), Crest baseball (Cleveland County-record 14th straight), East Lincoln softball (12th straight) and Lincoln Charter baseball (9th straight).
Historic returns or appearances are being made by Shelby baseball (first since 2014) and Piedmont Community Charter baseball (1st ever) and softball (1st ever).