The Orange softball team has clinched a tie for the Big 8 Conference championship after beating 13-3 in Hillsborough on Tuesday night. Orange sophomore center fielder Serenity McPherson laced a three-run homer during a five-run second inning, where Orange pulled away. Senior third baseman Emma Puckett went 3-for-3 and started the Lady Panthers’ rally in the second inning with a single to right field. Remarkably, Orange scored all five of its runs in the second inning after two out with the bases empty. This is the second straight time that Puckett has been a member of a conference championship team at Orange. Junior pitcher Gracie Walker improved to 3-0 on the season. She surrendered four hits, but only two of them came after the first inning. Walker struck out four, and also recorded an RBI. Orange is now 5-0 in the Big 8. They will return to action against East Chapel Hill on Wednesday, but that game will not count in the conference standings based on the arrangement by the Big 8 Conference this year. The Lady Panthers will host Vance County next Tuesday. If Orange wins, they will clinch the Big 8 title outright for the first time since 2017.

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