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Comets softball team to battle Eagles on Tuesday for district top seed

In a game that has produced a number of memorable moments in the past decade, the Halifax County High School varsity softball team will meet Franklin County High School Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Averett University in a one-game playoff for the regular season title in the Western Valley District and the district’s top seed in the Northwest Regional Tournament.

Halifax County and Franklin County both finished the regular season with 7-1 records in the district, with each team winning on its opponent’s home field.

The Comets defeated Franklin County 3-0 in Rocky Mount on April 16, but the Eagles returned the favor with a 1-0 win at Halifax County barely over a week later.

Comets Head Coach Melanie Saunders, believes her team is at a good place as the playoff game approaches, particularly after a 9-1 win at home Friday over Magna Vista High School in the regular season finale.

“They’re on the right track, momentum is up, and they have smiles on their faces, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Saunders.

“They’re ready,” Saunders added.

Saunders noted an aggressive approach at the plate by her team against Magna Vista High School as something they need to repeat against Franklin County. 

Three swings of the bat produced three outs in the bottom of the second inning, and that didn’t necessarily bother Saunders, who has been preaching an aggressive hitting approach the entire season.

“The kids came out upbeat and really aggressive at the plate, which is what we’ve been talking about,” said Saunders.

“In fact one inning they only threw three pitches and we hit into three outs, but we hit the first three pitches.

“I know it sounds crazy when you’re pleased with that, not with the outs, but we’re happy with the aggressiveness at the plate.”

Three Comets had multiple hits against the Warriors, with leadoff hitter Tayler Mosley going 3-4 and scoring three runs.

Meg Bane had a two-run single in the first inning and added an RBI double and base hit, while Cecilie Elliott finished with two base hits.

Kye-Neisha Logan added a two-run double in the third inning that gave the Comets a 4-0 lead, and she added a two-run single in a three-run sixth inning that completed the scoring.

Miyana Ross and Hannah Saunders added base hits, and Megan Puckett collected an RBI on a groundout for the Comets, who also got a combined three-hitter from Taylor Barnes and Courtney Epps along with a double play by their defense in the second inning. 

“We came out swinging and laid the bunts down to advance the runners and got hits when we needed to,” explained Saunders.

“Their pitcher is very consistent, so it was a good pitcher to hit against before Franklin on Tuesday, so we were pleased with it.

“Taylor pitched the first five innings, and Courtney came in and pitched the next two, and I was real pleased with both of them today.

“The momentum was up, the intensity was up, and the girls had fun, and that’s what it was all about.”

Barnes struck out eight batters and walked one in five innings of work, and Epps struck out two batters in two innings with two walks.

“We’re at a good place with Franklin County coming up on Tuesday.”