The Sporting Times
Watauga High School
Watauga's athletic department won the Northwestern Conference Wachovia Cup for the 2009-10 school year.
The Pioneers finished first with 193 points. Hickory was second with 184 points and South Caldwell third with 168. The points system is determined by where a school's team finishes in the league standings.
Watauga won league championships in boys' and girls' cross country, boys' and girls' track and field and boys' and girls' tennis. Watauga also finished in a tie with South Caldwell for first place in the baseball standings, but was awarded the first-place points because of a tiebreaker.
Watauga has won the cup for 13 of the past 14 seasons, having finished second to A.C. Reynolds in 2001.
The Watauga's girls' track and field team finished fourth in the west 4-A regional held Saturday at Providence High.
The Pioneers had two regional champions.Kasey Jones won the 100-meter hurdles and Laura Gulliver won the pole vault. Jones was also eighth in the 300 hurdles. Sydney Cook took home two second-place finishes in the high jump and in the pole vault. Tara Trivette was third in the high jump. Hannah Barbour added a third place in the 3,200-meter run, and the Pioneers' 3,200 relay team of Hailey Middlebrook, Barbour, Julia Roberts and Kayla Schneider also placed third.
Individuals and relay teams that finished fourth or higher advanced to the state meet, which is this Saturday at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. The Watauga's boys' team finished ninth overall with 32 points. Vance totaled 93 points to win and was followed by Ardrey Kell with 81 and Charlotte Hopewell with 77. Watauga had four athletes reach the state meet. Jordan Pineda was second in the shot put and the discus, while Gabby Romano was fourth in the discus. Reid Harris was third in the pole vault and Daniel Osborne was fourth in the 3,200-meter run.
One disastrous inning was enough to keep the Watauga baseball team from advancing into the second round of the state 4-A playoffs. East Gaston scored four runs in the third inning to go with the two it scored in the second to claim a 6-5 victory over the Pioneers. East Gaston (12-13) banged out six hits in the third, and took advantage of two walks and Watauga's inability to cleanly field a bunt in the second inning. The Pioneers saw their season end at 16-10.
Watauga struck first with an RBI single by Cal Hardee, but found themselves behind 6-1 going into the fourth inning. Josh Wyant delivered an RBI single in the inning, and then Watauga got a two-run double by Hardee and an RBI single from David Martin to pull to within 6-5 with no outs in the fifth inning. However, East Gaston starter Jay Puckett was replaced in favor of fellow lefty Brandon Bates, who retired nine of the next 10 Watauga batters.
The Watauga girls' softball team saw its season come to an end on Tuesday by virtue of a 15-0 defeat at the hands of powerhouse Alexander Central. The Cougars scored three times in the first, once in the second, six times in the third and five times in the fourth to win the state-playoff contest. Taylor Drummonds and Kara Tester garnered the only two Pioneer hits off of Cougar pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson.
In other Pioneer news, Watauga High School senior Kayla Schneider will soon make the transition from Pioneer to Mountaineer, signing a national letter of intent with Appalachian State University where she will run track and cross country next season.
Schneider, who won the 400-and 800-meter runs last week at the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference Championships, said she is receiving a $1,000 scholarship from ASU for the coming year. In addition to winning the 400- and 800-meter runs at the conference championships, Schneider was also part of the Pioneers' 3,200 relay team of Hailey Middlebrook, Hannah Barbour and Julia Roberts which placed third at the West 4-A Regional this past Saturday.
Appalachian State University
The Appalachian State baseball team had no answers for a red-hot Wake Forest offense in a 10-3 loss to the Demon Deacons on Tuesday evening at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The setback was the eighth in nine games for Appalachian (32-16-1) and ruined its bid to finish tied for the nation's fewest losses in non-conference play this season. ASU wrapped up the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule with just two defeats in 23 games, one more than No. 3 Arizona State, which has finished its non-league slate at 27-1. Wake Forest (16-36), which came into Tuesday's contest fresh off of taking 2-of-3 games from No. 19 Clemson last weekend, picked up where it left off against the Tigers by torching six Mountaineer pitchers for 10 runs on 14 hits.
The Demon Deacons did all of the damage in the middle innings, plating two runs in the third and fourth frames, five in the fifth and one in the sixth en route to scoring in double-digits for the third time in their last five games.
The loss to Wake Forest continued a rough stretch for ASU, who dropped all three games to the College of Charleston over the past weekend.
The Cougars completed the three-game sweep in dominating fashion on Sunday, outscoring the Mountaineers 22-2 in taking both games of a doubleheader at Smith Stadium. In the opener, the Cougars pounded the Mountaineers 13-1, while Charleston cruised to a 9-1 victory in the nightcap.
The series, which began on Saturday after a rainout on Friday, featured another offensive explosion by Charleston in a 15-5 rout. In total, the Cougars outscored the Mountaineers 37-7 in the three games, while outhitting ASU 45-20.