Cedar Ridge Softball

Softball Alumni Update: Dalehite ends career at UNCG in Southern Conference Tournament

Tori Dalehite: UNC Greensboro ended its season one game short of reaching the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans lost to Chattanooga 5-0 in the Southern Conference championship game at UNCG Softball Stadium in Greensboro. In her final game, Dalehite had an RBI off a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning that narrowed the Mocs lead to 4-2. She also scored in the seventh inning off a single by Brooklyn Maxwell. Dalehite started all four games in the Southern Conference Tournament, including the opener where she scored a run off a bases-loaded walk in the first inning in a 13-5 win over Samford. This season, Dalehite was third on the team with a .302 batting average. She played in 51 games, starting 42. She finished with four home runs and 22 RBIs. Dalehite ends her career with 123 games played, a .250 batting average. Dalehite reached the NCAA Tournament in her freshman year. She will start work at Emerge Orthopedic while applying to physical therapy school next fall.

Mia Davidson-Smith: The all-time leading home run hitter in Southeastern Conference history is in her first season with the Denso Bright Pegasus of Japan’s Diamond Softball League, the most storied professional softball league in the world. Through 12 games, Davidson is hitting .241 with two home runs and six RBIs. Denso is in fifth place in the East District with a 6-8 record. The Pegasus are five games behind the Bic Camera Takasaki Bee Queen for first place. Davidson will also participate in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby X this summer. The competition will have teams competing in groups of three, with each team featuring a former Major League star, a women’s baseball player or softball player and a local baseball player. Home Run Derby X will start in Fort Wayne, IN on August 10, Alburquerque, NM on August 23, Nashville, TN on August 31, and Durham Athletic Park on September 7th. However, Davidson won’t play on the Durham date because she will return to Japan at that point.

Carson Bradsher: Bradsher was the only former Hillsborough product to reach the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament this year. South Carolina Upstate won the Big South Tournament and was sent to the Tuscaloosa Regional, where the Spartans lost to Alabama and Clemson. This season, Bradsher played in 12 games and went 3-for-4 with six runs scored. South Carolina Upstate went 30-23, 13-5 in the Big South. The Spartans defeated Winthrop to win the Big South championship.

Takia Nichols: North Carolina Central came up just short of winning its second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship. Morgan State eliminated the Eagles in an elimination game on May 10 in Norfolk, VA. Central finished the year 20-36, 14-7 in the MEAC. Nichols, a rising junior, played in 40 games. She started 34 and hit .282 with one home run and eight RBIs.

Lauren Jackson: The Lenior-Rhyne Bears reached the Division II Women’s College World Series for the first time ever this season. The Bears’ season came to an end on Wednesday when they fell to the University of Texas-Tyler 5-2 at Soldier’s Creek Park in Longwood, FL. The Bears won the Southeast Regional championship, beating Wingate in three games in a best-of-three series. This season, Jackson played in 32 games, starting 20. She hit .241 with two home runs and nine RBIs.

Ava Lowry: The Division III North Carolina Wesleyan softball team ended the season 22-19, 11-7 in the USA South Conference. After a third place finish in the USA South, the Battling Bishops were eliminated in two games in the conference tournament. In the final game of the season against Greensboro, Lowry went 3-for-3 with a double, but the Pride won 3-0. Lowry hit .302 this season. Starting all 29 games she played, Lowry had one home runs and 16 RBIs.

Kelsey Tackett: In her first season with N.C. Wesleyan, Tackett played in two games.

Grace Andrews: Carolina University’s season ended in the South Region of the National Christian College Athletic Association South Region Tournament in Augusta, GA on May 9. The University of Fort Lauderdale defeated the Bruins 5-0 to end the season. Andrews started at shortstop in all four games in the regional. In a 9-0 win over Trinity Baptist on May 8, Andrews went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a double. Andrews hit a home run, which turned out to be the game-winner, in the Bruins 5-4 win over Paine College on May 7. Andrews’ two-run blast in the fifth put Carolina ahead 5-2. Andrews, a junior, hit .356 this season, which was the fourth-highest average on the team. She had two home runs and 19 RBIs. Carolina finished 24-20 this season.

Breezy Foster: The Wake Tech softball team finished the year 15-22, 11-16 in Region X of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Foster played 33 games and had a .149 batting average with five RBIs. The win total was a eight-game improvement from last year, when Wake Tech went 7-27. The 15-22 record was the best mark for Wake Tech since records started being kept by the school in 2016.

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Kimber Shambley

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is junior first baseman Kimber Shambley. This season, Shambley led the Red Wolves in home runs and RBIs. She hit eight home runs and 34 RBIs. In Cedar Ridge’s final home game of 2024, Shambley hit a walkoff home run to defeat Western Alamance 7-6. It was the first time Cedar Ridge has defeated Western Alamance since the two teams became conference rivals in 2022. Shambley also had a three-run homer in the Red Wolves 13-4 win over Northwood in Pittsboro on April 25. She also had a three-run homer against Eastern Alamance on April 23 in Mebane. In an 8-6 win over Person on April 12 in Roxboro, Shambley had a two-run single. Last fall, Shambley announced that she would play for Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. The daughter of Kevin and Missy Shambley, Kimber hit .449 as the Red Wolves reached the state playoffs for the third straight year. At one point this year, Shambley had a four-game home run streak, starting with a dinger in a win over Person in Hillsborough on March 19. She followed with homers against Walter Williams, Southern Alamance and Orange, which came in the first inning at Panther Field and gave Cedar Ridge an early lead. Next year, Shambley will be a senior leader for a more experienced squad ready to move upward in the Central Conference.

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Cedar Ridge softball’s Cierra Copeland, Cameron Copeland, Aliceann Kohler & Kaitlyn Nieves talk win on Senior Night

The Cedar Ridge softball team played its final home game of the season on Wednesday night. It ended with a 7-6 win over Western Alamance when Kimber Shambley hit a walkoff home run. It was the final home game for seniors Cierra Copeland, Cameron Copeland, Aliceann Kohler and Kaitlyn Nieves. Cameron and Cierra Copeland have been a huge part of Cedar Ridge athletics since the emotional and physical depths of the pandemic in 2021. Together, they have played basketball and softball. They have also been managers for the volleyball team, including for the 2021 State Championship squad. Aliceann Kohler hit a huge catch playing left field on Wednesday night as the Warriors rallied to tie the game at 6-6. She has played in all 20 games for the Red Wolves this season. Nieves has appeared in nine games and had her number 17 spray painted along the third base line during a pregame ceremony. It was the first time the Red Wolves have beaten the Warriors since the two teams became conference rivals in 2022. Cedar Ridge ended the regular season 12-7-1. This week, they played three games in three days, playing to a tie against Falls Lake in Creedmoor. On Tuesday, they defeated Walter Williams in Hillsborough 10-0 in five innings. Cedar Ridge will move on to the state playoffs and learn their matchup in the field of 64 this weekend.

Cedar Ridge softball seniors Cierra & Cameron Copeland, Aliceann Kohler & Kaitlyn Nieves talk win

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Shambley’s walk-off home run propels Cedar Ridge softball over Western Alamance on Senior Night

Kimber Shambley hit her first walk-off home run for Cedar Ridge softball on Wednesday night, and it didn’t just win the Red Wolves a game.

That walkoff home run gave an elusive victory for Cedar Ridge over an Alamance County team. The Red Wolves had lost seven straight to Western and Eastern Alamance, dating back to 2019.

It was also a win for the seniors. It was the last home game in the long legacy of Cierra and Cameron Copeland, two seniors who have been with Cedar Ridge athletics from August to May every academic year since they were freshmen. When Cierra and Cameron started playing basketball in 2021, it couldn’t have been less glamorous. They were suiting up while wearing masks during a pandemic inside empty gyms while a combination of injuries and graduation led to the Red Wolves only having five players.

Alice Ann Koehler and Kaitlyn Nieves also celebrated their senior nights as their numbers were spray painted along the third-base lines. It was Kohler who would come up with a big catch that ultimately led to the winning run from Shambley.

Much of the night felt like one big celebration for Cedar Ridge. They went into the seventh inning with a 6-0 lead as pitcher Charlotte Lowry threw six shutout innings, scattering only four hits.

Suddenly, it ended when the Warriors found the form that took them within one win of the 3A State Championship last year.

Camryn Rodrigues and Ryan Justice singled while Kayde Moore walked to load the bases, but it didn’t seem to be any big deal. Bayleigh Burris grounded to Lowry at the circle, who flipped it to catcher Rylee Capps for a force out. Lela Kate Baker sent a one-hopper to Laci Sykes at third, who threw out Moore at the plate.

With two out, Kara Alday lined a hard grounder to the left field gap to score Burris and Justice. To make the Red Wolves even more uneasy, Addison Beal skied a fly ball to the left field fence, easily plating Baker and Alday to cut the Red Wolf lead to 6-4.

Kyndal Wilborn skied a fly ball that bounced away with right fielder Victoria Matthews. Skylar Martin, running for Beal, scored from first base.

Briles Overton then sent a fly ball to right field that landed in front of Matthews for the game-tying hit. After Rodrigues was intentionally walked, Moore sent a dangerous fly to left field, but Kohler backtracked to the corner to make the catch and finally end the inning.

If there was any feeling of dread in the Red Wolf dugout, Shambley erased it instantly. The very first pitch she saw was a no-doubter, skied so far to centerfield, it even cleared the old Cedar Ridge fence, which was around 225 feet from home plate. It easily cleared the new fence, which is higher but about 25 feet shorter.

It was Shambley’s eighth home run of the season. Shambley, who has committed to play at Western Carolina, also leads the team with 34 RBIs.

Up to the seventh inning, the Red Wolves had played its most balanced game of the year. K0hler  led off the third inning with a walk, the first of six straight Red Wolves to reach against Beal, who started in the circle for the Warriors. Following a single by Matthews, Kohler scored off a single that rolled into left field by Mia Best. After Madeline Galindo-Woodring singled down the left field line, Shambley dropped a fly ball into right field to increase the Red Wolf lead to 3-0. With Brittani Goodard at the plate, Galindo-Woodring scored on a wild pitch, sending Shambley to third.

With Laci Sykes at the plate, Shambley scored the fifth run of the inning off another wild pitch.

In the fourth, Matthews walked, then stole second and advanced to third following a single by Best. Matthews scored off a groundout to second by Galindo-Woodring.

Cedar Ridge ends the regular season 12-7-1, winning its third game in three days. They started the week with a 7-7 tie against Falls Lake in Creedmoor in a game that reached the eleventh inning and had to be shut down because the Firebirds park doesn’t have lights.

Cedar Ridge defeated Walter Williams 10-0 in Hillsborough on Tuesday. Lowry went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Red Wolves against the Bulldogs. Sykes finished 2-for-2 with a triple.

Following its first win over one of the best teams in Alamance County, Cedar Ridge coach Allen Byrd will prepare for the state playoffs starting on Thursday afternoon.

With a smile on his face on Wednesday night, he was asked what he will tell his team as they prepare for a first-round road game.

“Why not us?” he replied.

Shambley homers in Cedar Ridge softball win over Falls Lake, Best homers in victory at Person

Even with Taylor Apple now pitching at East Carolina, Central Conference softball hasn’t lost very much depth.

Of the top 15 teams in the current 3A East Region RPI rankings, four are from the Central. Western Alamance lost Apple, the 2023 Central Conference Pitcher of the Year, along with seven other seniors. Yet the Warriors will almost certainly make the state playoffs.

Cedar Ridge, with just one senior starter, is battling to return to the state playoffs for the fifth time in six years, not counting the pandemic season of 2020. Last week, they used power hitting from its top two power hitters to earn consecutive wins.

On Wednesday, junior Kimber Shambley drilled her team-leading fifth home run of the season while sophomore Mia Best went 2-for-3, scoring three runs in a 10-1 win over Falls Lake at Cedar Ridge Softball Field. Sophomore pitcher Charlotte Lowry struck out four over five innings to improve to 3-1 in the circle.

Falls Lake (5-7) is the defending champion of the 1A Super Six Conference.

Best started a two-out rally in the opening inning with a single to centerfield, then advanced to second after the ball rolled under the glove of centerfielder Cora Cates. Catcher Rylee Capps laced a single to right to score Best.

Aliceann Kohler opened the third inning by getting hit by a pitch. Madeline Galindo-Woodring moved Kohler to second on a sacrifice bunt to pitcher Wynterlee Glenn. With two outs, Kohler raced to third base when a pickoff throw to second base bounced off the glove of Kayla Cash. Best sent a fly ball to right field that was dropped, leading to Kohler scoring.

Lowry retired nine of the first ten batters in the opening three innings, allowing only a walk to Cates to leadoff the second.

Leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, Shambley helped bust the game open with an RBI single to centerfield, which scored Kohler after she was hit by a pitch. After Best walked, Capps sent a deep fly ball to centerfield that landed just shy of the new, makeshift fence that easily plated Shambley and Best.

In the sixth, Victoria Matthews led off the inning when she reached on an error by Cash at second base. Shambley slammed a two-run Homer to right field to give the Red Wolves an 8-1 lead. Later, Laci Sykes would launch a two-run double to centerfield to score Best and Cameron Copeland, running for Capps.

On Friday night, the Red Wolves defeated Person 8-6 for its first-ever win in Roxboro. While Ridge had a pair of two-run leads in the opening four innings, only for the Rockets to tie things up each time.

Best led off the fifth inning with a line drive to left field for a single. Capps followed with a single to centerfield. Sykes walked to load the bases with no outs. Charlotte Lowry landed a 2-1 fastball into deep centerfield over Liberty Jones, easily scoring Best and Copeland. Matthews scored Sykes with a groundout to third baseman Camryn Clarke.

Person made things interesting with two runs in the sixth inning. Paisley Riggsbee and Clarke both scored to trip the Cedar Ridge lead to 7-6.

Cedar Ridge picked up a crucial insurance run in the seventh inning after Lowry was hit by a pitch. Matthews singled to right field and got Copeland, running for Lowry, over to third. Kohler laid down a gorgeous sacrifice bunt to score Copeland.

Person got Macey Bowes aboard in the bottom of the seventh off a walk, but Brittani Goddard retired Taryn Massey when she caught a line drive for the final out.

In the first inning, Shambley doubled down the left field line. Best followed with a two-run home run to give the Red Wolves an early lead.

Cedar Ridge (8-4) will host Southern Alamance on Tuesday night in Hillsborough. The Red Wolves will step out of conference play to face Northwood on Thursday, also in Hillsborough.

Softball Alumni Update: Aitkin hits first college home run for Amherst

Olivia Aitkin: Former Cedar Ridge centerfielder Olivia Aitkin hit her first college home run in the second game of a doubleheader for Division III Amherst against Wesleyan (Connecticut) College at Amherst Softball Field on Friday. Aitkin hit a three-run blast during a five-run third inning as Amherst won 9-8. Aitkin went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Aitkin started in centerfield in the opening game, which Wesleyan won 9-0 in five innings. Aitkin is second on the team with a .318 batting average through ten games, nine of which she has started. She is tied for second on the team with five RBIs. Amherst is 4-9 overall, 1-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Tori Dalehite: Dalehite hit the game-winning, three-run home run for the UNC Greensboro softball team in its 5-3 victory over Furman on Friday in the opening game of a doubleheader at UNCG Softball Stadium. The Spartans trailed 3-2 before Dalehite lined a first-pitch blast to left centerfield. UNCG swept the three-game series. They won the second game 5-3 in eight innings. Dalehite went 1-for-3 in Saturday’s 6-1 win. She started in right field. UNCG is atop the Southern Conference at 6-0, 22-14 overall.

Takiya Nichols: The North Carolina Central Eagles dropped two out of three games against Coppin State over the weekend. The Eagles won the opening game of the doubleheader 5-0 at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary. Nichols went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Coppin State won the second game 7-1 in the second game of the doubleheader on Friday. Nichols, started as the designated player, walked twice. Coppin State won the final game 9-3 to take the series. Nichols went 1-for-2. Last week, Campbell swept a doubleheader from the Eagles at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium in Buies Creek. Nichols drew two walks in the opening game, an 8-0 Camels win in five innings.

Mary Moss Wirt: Elon swept a three-game series from the College of Charleston at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Wirt entered the game as a pinch-hitter and was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. Wirt scored two runs off two walks in the Phoenix’s 14-6 win over the Cougars on Friday. She started at catcher. Wirt also started in a 9-1 loss to East Carolina in six innings last Tuesday in Greenville where she faced former Western Alamance pitcher Taylor Apple.

Lauren Jackson: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne Bears defeated UVA Wise in a doubleheader in Wise, VA on Friday. Jackson blasted a two-run Homer to right field to complete a 9-0 win in five innings. Jackson finished the second game 2-for-3 as the designated player. The Bears won the opening game 8-4. Jackson finished 1-for-4 and scored in the second inning off a double by Lora Beth Wood. Jackson also homered in a loss to Catawba last week during the opening game of a doubleheader. The Indians defeated the Bears 9-6. Catawba swept the doubleheader with a 3-2 victory. Jackson finished 1-for-3 with a walk. This season, Jackson is hitting .287 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 20 games.

Grace Andrews: Carolina University lost to North Carolina Wesleyan 8-1 at Edge Field in Rocky Mount on March 25 Andrews finished 0-for-2. She started at shortstop. Wesleyan won 5-0 in the opening game. Andrews went 1-for-3. On March 20, Paine College split a doubleheader against Carolina at Wilson Park in Clemmons. Andrews went 1-for-3 in the opening game. Andrews has started 24 games and is hitting .338 with seven RBIs. Carolina is 15-9 overall.

Breezy Foster: Wake Tech Community College is 9-16 overall, 5-10 in Region X of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Foster has played in 18 games for the Eagles. She is hitting .185 with three RBIs. Over the weekend, Louisburg College swept a three-game series from Wake Tech in Louisburg. This weekend, the Eagles will travel to Buffaloe Road Athletic Park for a three-game set with Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Cedar Ridge Softball Notebook: Shambley hits home runs in wins over Person, Williams; Lowry strikes out 12 vs. Rockets

Cedar Ridge 10, Person 7: It will be a relief to many batters, but not many pitchers, that the fences at Cedar Ridge softball field are no longer the deepest in the Central Conference.

In fact, the old distance of 220 feet down the left and right field lines were longer than most college softball fields. On Tuesday night, Cedar Ridge pitcher Charlotte Lowry didn’t let the shorter fences stand in the way of a career-high 12 strikeouts.

Lowry allowed just five hits as the Red Wolves defeated Person for the second straight time. Last year, the Red Wolves defeated the Rockets 4-2 in Hillsborough.

Junior Kimber Shambley hit her first home run of the season with a solo blast in the third inning, which started a four-run frame. Sophomore Laci Sykes and Rylee Capps each reached on singles. Kaitlyn Nieves entered as a courtesy runner for Capps. Brittani Goodard grounded to pitcher Paisley Rigsbee, which allowed Nieves and Sikes to move up 60 feet each. Senior Cierra Copeland sent a single to right field to score Sykes and Nieves, which Goodard went to third base. Madeline Galindo-Woodring reached on an error by the first baseman, which brought in Goodard and increased the Cedar Ridge lead to 7-1.

Galindo-Woodring, the Red Wolves leadoff batter, legged out an infield single on a grounder hit to Person third baseman Camryn Clarke in the first inning as the Red Wolves grabbed an early advantage. After Shambley earned a four-pitch walk, Lowry reached on a dropped third strike The ball was bounced over the glove of first baseman Makayla Walker, which allowed Galindo-Woodring and Shambley to score the opening two runs. Cameron Copeland reported in for Lowry as a courtesy runner. Capps sent a roller to centerfield, scoring Copeland and giving the Red Wolves a 3-0 lead.

Lowry struck out the side in the first inning, setting the tone for the night.

Cedar Ridge 19, Walter Williams 0 (5 innings): Shambley homered for the second night in a row against the Bulldogs in Burlington as the Red Wolves improved to 6-1 overall, 2-1 in the Central Conference.

Pitcher Mia Best added three doubles. Best, who improved to 3-0, struck out eight over five innings.

The Red Wolves had a season-best 20 hits. They opened with five runs in the first inning. After Galindo-Woodring was hit by Bulldogs pitcher Madison Horner, Shambley sent a screamer to right field that cleared the fence. Best sent a double to centerfield. Capps followed with a RBI single to right field. Lowry stroked another double to left field to score Copeland.

Shambley sent an RBI double to fight field to score Galindo-Woodring to start the second inning. Capps added an infield single to increase the Red Wolf lead to 8-0.

Capps finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs. Shamlbey went 4-for-5 with six RBIs. Over the course of two nights, Shambley went 6-for-9 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Best finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Goodard registered a lien of 2-for-3. The Red Wolves finished with eight doubles, including one from Victoria Matthews.

Last Friday, the Red Wolves had a tight, 3-2 loss to Western Alamance in Elon. The Warriors are the defending 3A Eastern Regional champions. The Warriors scored all three of its runs in the third inning.

Cedar Ridge fought back with two runs in the fourth inning. With two out, Sykes stroked a single to centerfield. Shambley followed with a double to centerfield that advanced Sykes to third base. Goddard sent a bouncing ball up the middle for a two-run single that reduced the Warriors lead to 3-2.

The Red Wolves will travel to Southern Alamance, the 2021 3A State Champions, for its first conference matchup against the Patriots on Thursday night in Graham. The Patriots are 5-1 and won its Central Conference opener over Williams.