Softball standout Katelyn Cochran and her North Augusta High School teammates have ruled the roost for the past couple of months, but ran into a tremendous challenge in the playoffs versus Hartsville and entered this week facing life in the losers' bracket.
The Red Foxes, the state's top-ranked team, snuck past the Yellow Jackets 4-3 in a May 3 game in Riverview Park. The contest featured a face-off of fantastic freshmen: two undefeated pitchers, in this case. Hartsville's Alyssa Poston improved her record to 17-0, and second-ranked North Augusta's Katelyn Cochran, after being dinged for three runs in the first inning, slipped to 19-1. Both teams remained in playoff contention, but another slip by North Augusta would mean the end of the 2019 season for the Jackets.
Coach Craig Gilstrap's squad earned the right to face Hartsville by way of a May 1 win at home against Lakewood. Cochran tossed a no-hitter (and was one walk away from a perfect game), administering 14 strikeouts.