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Coach Chad Whitson talks strategy with his Cougars.   Eric Abernathy / Randolph Hub

Cougars falter 2-1 in 10 innings

ASHEBORO — Competing in the Piedmont Athletic Conference and playing a very highly-skilled non league schedule, the Southwestern Randolph High School varsity softball team faced some stellar pitching this season.


But the best they faced very well may have been West Wilkes' junior right-hander Lily Profit.


Profit was dominant against a solid Cougars’ offense, allowing just four hits and keeping SWR at bay until the undefeated Black Hawks finally broke a tie in the 10th inning for a 2-1 extra-inning victory in the fourth round of the NCHSAA state 2-A playoffs last week.


The loss ended the No. 2 seed Cougars’ season at 22-2, while No. 3 West Wilkes (22-0) moved on to compete in the Western Regional Championship Series. 


Profit allowed just one hit over the final seven innings and fanned 18 for the victory.


“I’m going to say Profit is the best pitcher we’ve seen all year, hands down,” SWR coach Chad Whitson said. “She threw the ball real well. We had opportunities and weren’t able to capitalize on them and they did what they needed to do to win the ball game. 


“We’ve been in games like this three or four times this year and the breaks went our way. Tonight they didn't.”


The loss came despite another solid outing by sophomore Macie Crutchfield. The right-hander allowed just three hits, while walking eight (two intentionally) and striking out 18.


The Cougars used an RBI single from Maddie Varner in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, but a solo home run by Profit in the fourth tied the game and it stayed that way until the 10th. A one-out walk and then an intentional walk to Profit put two runners on and both advanced on a double-steal. An intentional walk loaded the bases before freshman Leah Greene, who had struck out three times, lofted a fly ball to deep left field to break the tie.


Profit retired the side in order in the 10th to end SWR’s season.


Ky Perdue, Carleigh Whitson and Varner had hits for the Cougars.


“I really can’t say enough about this group of girls,” Whitson said. “Awesome season. I told them it hurts right now and it stings, but 10 or 15 years from now, you are going to remember the good stuff and not how it ended.”