Cedar Ridge’s Ruhl named 3A District 3 Player of the Year; 5 Red Wolves, Panthers make All-District 3 Team

Updated: June 20, 2019

After leading the Cedar Ridge softball team in hitting this spring, Red Wolves centerfielder Taylor Ruhl has been named the 3A District 3 Player of the Year by the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association.

Orange County is considered within district 3, along with Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Durham, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Person, Northhampton, Vance, Warren, Wake and Wilson Counties.

Ruhl led Cedar Ridge with a .596 batting average as the Red Wolves tied Orange for the Big 8 Conference Championships. Cedar Ridge defeated the Lady Panthers in a special tiebreaker game to determine the #1 seed for the 3A State Playoffs on May 2. Cedar Ridge finished 21-3 overall, reaching the third round of the 3A State Playoffs for the second year in a row.

Ruhl also led the team with 53 hits and tied for the team lead with three triples.

Joining Ruhl on the All-District 3 squad were four Cedar Ridge Red Wolves and five Orange Lady Panthers.

Tori Dalehite: The 2018 Big 8 Hitter of the Year made the All-Big 8 Conference team for the second year in a row. Dalehite led Cedar Ridge with 41 RBIs in 2019 with a .544 batting average and a team-high 17 doubles. She committed to UNC Greensboro last winter.

Tionna Carter: A fourth-year varsity shortstop, Carter had the game-winning hit in the opening round of the 3A state playoff victory over West Johnston on May 7. Carter hit a career-high. 549 (149 points above her previous high) with 50 hits and and 41 RBIs. She played in all 24 of the Red Wolves games.

Takia Nichols: One of three freshmen from Hillsborough to make the All-District team. Nichols led Cedar Ridge with eight home runs, including a monster blast to left field in the 2nd round of the state playoffs against West Carteret on May 10. Nichols started at 3rd base from the season-opener against Bartlett Yancey. She hit .509 with 36 RBIs.

Kara Wagoner: A senior 1st baseman, Wagoner hit .408 with 31 hits, 31 RBIs and 13 doubles. Wagoner committed to play at Montreat last winter. She had a career-hight 35 runs scored. Leaves Cedar Ridge with a career .406 batting average and 23 career doubles. A honor role student and president of the Cedar Ridge Future Farmers of America.

The five players from Orange High included two freshmen, as well as two players who won a state championship in 2017.

Olivia Ruff: Ruff, the only senior from Orange to make the All-District team, hit .389 this season. She had career-highs in hits (21) and RBIs (16). Ruff went 3-for-3 against East Chapel Hill on May 1, which ensured the Lady Panthers a share of the Big 8 Championship for the third time in four years.

Jayden Hurdle: A starter at first base since her freshman season, Hurdle overcame a torn ACL last summer to hit .385 in 2019. Hurdle led Orange with 22 RBIs. Went 4-for 4 with two home runs against East Chapel Hill on March 12 in a 12-0 victory, the Lady Panthers first win of the year. Also earned two pitching wins this season.

Maddie Bartlett: A junior shortstop, Bartlett hit .409. She led the team with 27 hits and eight doubles. Went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Orange’s win over Jacksonville in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs in Hillsborough. Had ten multi-hit games this season. Daughter of former Orange player Tonya Bartlett.

Lauren Jackson: Led the team with a .439 batting average in her freshman season. Provided the most dramatic moment of the season for Orange with a game-winning single in the 8th inning to drive in Bartlett and defeat Northwood 7-6. The Panthers were down to its last out, trailing 6-5 in the 7th inning before Emma Puckett drove in Ruff. Also led the team with five home runs.

Gracie Walker: The other end of Orange’s all-freshman battery, Walker became the established pitcher as the season stretched on. Walker finished 8-5 with 82 strikeouts and a 2.90 ERA. Her biggest win of the season came against Cedar Ridge, where he gave up five hits and four runs in a complete game win, which led Orange to tie the Red Wolves for 1st place in the Big 8.

One Comment

  1. Elizabeth

    06/21/2019 at 7:40 AM

    Thanks for continuing to cover Hillsborough sports. Your work to highlight the achievements of local athletes is an important mission.

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