Masters Week means a slowdown for most schools' athletic programs, but North Augusta High School has a little sports action planned over the next few days, including a wrap-up for the baseball program.
Senior D.J. Sullivan has been the baseball program's offensive leader in the 2019 campaign, hitting just over .400 and being the team's top run producer, according to Matt Branon, the Yellow Jackets' coach.
Branon noted that sophomore Cale Clary has been the program's top pitcher, with three wins so far, heading into the team's season-ending tournament action set for Saturday at Gilbert, with a 9 a.m. contest against Gilbert and a 1:30 p.m. game against Andrew Jackson.
The Jackets began this week with an overall record of 10-11 and a region tally of 2-9. Branon's bunch nipped Gilbert 3-2 on the road Wednesday and then faced Aiken twice, winning 9-0 at home Thursday and losing 9-5 on the road Friday.
The softball team, coached by Craig Gilstrap, remains among the state's most successful, having begun this week with a 7-0 region mark and a 19-2 record overall. Helping lead the charge has been freshman pitcher Katelyn Cochran, who started this week at 15-0.
Sophomore Madi Usry has belted five homers so far, and another leading batter is sophomore Emma Shiver, at .387. The squad is to face Midland Valley twice next week — Tuesday on the Mustangs' field and Thursday in Riverview Park. Between the two is a home game Wednesday versus South Aiken.
Gilstrap's crew headed into Masters Week by winning the Triple Crown tournament for the third straight year (beating Spring Valley 7-0 Friday, and, on Saturday, Indian Land 5-3, Mid-Carolina 10-2, Nations Ford 12-0 and Palmetto 2-0, in that order).
The squad started April by winning at Barnwell 3-1 April and at Aiken 19-1 April 3.
The squad's sole senior, Emily Ayers (on track to play for USC Upstate as a scholarship winner), is dividing her time this season between catcher and shortstop. She is batting .482.
The playoffs are looming for the Yellow Jackets, coached by Ryan Rood, whose squad began this week with a region record of 7-2 and an overall mark of 12-4.
The Jackets' next contest is to be April 15 on the road versus Batesburg-Leesville, in tournament action.
The month started for Rood's crew with a 2-0 road loss April 2 at South Aiken. Following were a 3-1 home win April 4 against Evans and a 13-1 demolition of Midland Valley April 5 on the road.