Congratulations to Atlee Softball for their 3-0 win over Hickory to capture their second state championship in school history, the first since 2002, sending head coach John Earley and assistant coach Becky Levy, whose roles were reversed thirteen years ago when the Raiders won their first championship, into a retirement they announced at the beginning of the season.
Levy, upon returning to serve as Earley's assistant a decade ago, promised him she would serve as an assistant until he decided to step down.
Laura Kate Moss had the game's critical hit, launching a deep single into the gap in left-center field with two out in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded. With the speedy Kelly Warren aboard at first, Earley never hesitated in sending all three Raider runners to the plate, catching the Hickory defense by surprise. Their throw to the plate was much too high, and Warren slid head first for the third run, breaking the spirit of the Hawks, who defeated Atlee a week earlier 1-0 in the 5A South Region final.
The final out, fittingly, was the ninth strikeout of the game by sophomore pitcher Peyton St. George, who had to wait out recovery from illness in the middle of the season to return just in time for the playoffs.
The Raiders end their season at 20-6, the third Hanover County softball team to reach 20 wins in 2015, joining Patrick Henry and Lee-Davis.
For post-game celebration photos, CLICK HERE.
Exclusive and extensive coverage of Atlee's title, and the historic Atlee/Patrick Henry semifinal, will appear in this Thursday's Hanover Herald-Progress, available by subscription at 804-798-9031, and also available at area Martin's, Food Lion locations, Walmart, convenience stores, and the familiar yellow boxes throughout the county.
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