Freshman hurler stops Lady Titans in State 4A Playoffs

McDowell's Laynie Hudgins makes contact with this pitch during a recent game. The Lady Titans fell 3-0 to Lake Norman on the road Tuesday in the first round of the State 4A Playoffs. Josh Davis/

Lake Norman pitcher Linda Moore has been one of the biggest stories in softball across the Charlotte Metro area this season.

The freshman flame-thrower continued to impress on the diamond Tuesday, leading the 10th seed Lady Wildcats to victory over the 23rd seed McDowell Lady Titans 3-0 in the opening round of the State 4A Playoffs.

Moore was in control of the game, tossing a complete game three-hitter, striking out 14 batters and walking one. That continues what has been an outstanding season. Moore recorded her 16th win of the season on Tuesday and in 107 innings pitched has a 1.57 earned run average, striking out 145 batters against 21 walks, a near 7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Leadoff hitter Dezi Williams produced two infield singles and sophomore Jessica Cannon had the other hit for the Lady Titans.

Williams was stranded at second in the first inning and then, a pair of Lady Titans, including Cannon, was stranded at second and third in the fifth.

Otherwise, McDowell was retired in order for the rest of the game.

Lake Norman (19-7) broke through in the middle innings, scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth along with an insurance run in the fifth after McDowell failed to capitalize on its scoring chance in the previous half inning.

Carley Christopher had two hits and one RBI. Moore (1-3, double), Bergen Duma (RBI) and Semmy Ladowski also had a hit apiece for the Lake Wildcats.

Three infield fielding errors committed by McDowell in the fourth played a big part in Lake Norman’s ability to break through. Moore reached on a fielding error from Jaden Shuford at third to begin the frame. Then, with one out, Amber Locesto reached on an error at shortstop to put runners on the corners.

That was followed up by Christopher reaching when Laynie Hudgins committed an error at second, scoring Moore to put the Lady Wildcats in front 1-0. Duma then made it 2-0 with a slow grounder, driving in Christopher.

The add-on run in the fifth also came with the help of two more miscues in the infield. The Lady Titans finished the game with five errors in total.

Candace Cooper took the loss on the rubber in her final varsity game with three unearned runs on three hits and one strikeout in five innings.

With the loss on Tuesday McDowell finishes out the season with an 11-12 record overall, finishing under .500 for the first time in more than a decade.





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