Most coaches and media in the area felt like East Rutherford’s softball team should at least win the conference this season, but as the season progressed, we all started to see that they could make a run at state too. Three months later, East Rutherford (25-3) has made it to 2A State Championship Series.
They had won 23 straight games until Forbush beat them in game two of three games last week. East won game one 9-6 and then hung on for a 6-4 win in the series deciding game three to earn the right to go for a state title.
For those who don’t know, East Rutherford has made the softball playoffs for 14 straight years, but never to the championship. In 2005, they played in the semifinals and that‘s as far as they gotten in school history until this moment.
The Lady Cavs will play in Raleigh on Friday (6/6) and Saturday (6/7) at the Walnut Creek Sport Complex where they will face Jordan-Matthews (23-4). And if there is any good news, the last time East Rutherford won a state title, it was in 2011 against a Chatham County School (as they are playing this weekend). The boys basketball team beat Northwood that year.
While Laura Hopper Ray is in her in first year as head coach of the Lady Cavs, there are two others coaches that have done a great deal for the program and that being Julie Powell and Marty Hopper. Both have put in hard work, time and dedication to the program over the years that is probably underestimated by most. As for this team, Savannah Davis, Emilie Dotson, Raven Gray, etc. have all earned this chance. Coming through fundamentally and on key opportunities has led to a phenomenal season. Two more wins are all that stand in the way of how they wish to end the season. The reality of a state title is very much possible for them. I hope Rutherford County will support and stand behind them. I wish them good luck in their title bid this coming weekend.
In legion baseball, Rutherford County Post 423 (1-3) opened the season to a tough start last week. The season has already taken a little bit of a snag as Connor Dailey suffered an injury.
If there is any good news, they have been competitive, losing by a combined six runs in those three games. They will travel to Burke County on 6/6, host Shelby on 6/8 and host Hendersonville on 6/11. All home games are at 7pm at McNair Field.
The Forest City Owls have also opened up Coastal League play in the past week. The Owls are off to a 3-2 record and a perfect 2-0 at McNair Field. Hunter Bryant already has two homers and is batting over .400. There are three young men from Rutherford County that are on the Owls roster this season. Lucas Owens (formerly of East Rutherford) is the lone returner. Dakotah Thomas (formerly of East Rutherford) and Christian Pfaff (formerly of R-S Central) are much needed arms to the pitching staff. The Owls will host Martinsville this coming Friday (6/6).