For the first time since winning the 3A State Championship in 2017, the Orange softball team has reached the round of 16 in the state tournament. On Friday, Orange rolled past South Johnston, the Quad County Champions, 7-0 in Four Oaks. Senior Caden Robinson struck out nine in a complete game, four-hit shutout. Mia Leathers, as a designated player, roped a two-run single to break Orange’s lead out to 7-0 in the fifth inning. Orange is the last team standing from the Central Conference in the state playoffs. Robinson is 14-4 this season with 139 strikeouts. Leathers, a senior, is hitting .264 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. The Lady Panthers were in Southport last night for a game against South Brunswick. The game was interrupted by rain in the fifth inning with the Cougars leading 2-0. The game will resume today in the top of the fifth inning with Evelyn George running at first base with one out. Robinson has seven strikeouts through four innings. Robinson now has 377 strikeouts, which is only one behind the school record set by Kristina Givens, who was the hurler for Orange’s 3A State Championship team. The winner of Orange-South Brunswick will face the winner of Havelock-Cape Fear in the state quarterfinals.

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