The Craig County softball team was on a roll with the post-season scheduled to start Monday. The Rockets had a home game with Radford to open the Conference 45 tournament.
Results were too late for press time, but the Rockets were favored to beat the Bobcats. Craig beat Radford in the second game of the season, 19-6, and the Craig girls are playing much better now.
If the Rockets prevailed Monday they would play the winner of the Auburn-Bath County game today in Riner. Auburn is hosting the tournament with semifinals scheduled for Wednesday and finals on Thursday. Bad weather was in the forecast, but that was the schedule at press time.
Craig needs to finish first or second in the Conference 45 tournament to earn a spot in the Group 1A West Regional tournament. The Rockets come into the post-season with eight wins in their last nine games, including a 9-5 win over Auburn in New Castle last Friday. Auburn was 15-3 before losing to Craig.
“That was a big confidence builder for our girls,” said Craig coach Trent Lipes. “It showed them we could hit that pitcher.”
Three girls had two hits each for the Rockets. Olivia Garman had two hits and reached base four times, including a three run home run in the sixth inning as Craig sent 12 batters to the plate. Hannah Lipes also had two hits and drove in three runs and Tierrney Zysk had two hits despite injuring her thumb in her first at bat. Tierrney’s bad luck continued over the weekend as she injured her knee in a basketball game and is possibly out for the rest of the softball season regardless of how far the Rockets go. Freshman Jaci McAlwee will take over first base.
The Rockets are now 10-2 overall after starting the season 2-7. If they can win the conference tournament they would open the regional with a home game next week at a time to be determined.
“We’re playing real well right now,” said Lipes. “Our girls have a lot of confidence.”