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North Moore junior Kennedie Mercer tosses to first base during the Mustangs' season-opening loss to South Stanly on Tuesday.

More than a year since the North Moore softball team had played a contest together, there were signs of rust and inexperience that coach Jasmine Wray said.

“We have some experience in places, but we have one senior so we have a lot of growing pains,” the Mustangs’ coach said after a 18-1 loss to South Stanly at home on Monday.

“I feel like after watching this game that the future of North Moore softball is bright. It’s going to take some growing pains but I’m glad that we have them on board."

With one senior on the team, Wray sees room for growth with the young Mustangs’ team this season that comes in after losing last season due to the pandemic.

Against South Stanly, North Moore fell behind early, surrendering four runs in the top of the first, and then the home team followed by getting runners on second and third with one out before the side was struck out, stranding the runners.

South Stanly scored six runs in the third inning to take a 10-0 lead into the fifth inning. From the second to the fourth inning, North Moore had one runner reach base safely with a walk in the fourth inning.

The Mustangs extended the game into the sixth inning with one run coming with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kennedie Mercer hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that South Stanly had two errant throws on that led to Makayla Bray scoring from first base.

The Rowdy Rebel Bulls scored eight runs in the next half inning before closing out the win in the bottom of the sixth.

Mercer had two hits in the loss for North Moore and Reese Hancock had the other hit in the contest. Both are a big part in the junior class that Wray has high hopes for.

“They didn’t get to show their skill and what they have, but I feel like we have a lot of hidden talents,” Wray said.

Others in the group include utility player Abbie McNeill and outfielder Mya Gillis. Samantha Thompson is a versatile player that is the lone senior.

North Moore plays at North Rowan on Thursday.

Union Pines Edges Northwest Guilford

Behind scoring from a pair of seniors, the Union Pines girls soccer team earned a 2-1 win on the road at Northwest Guilford on Tuesday.

Emily Bowbliss scored a goal and assisted on a score by teammate Emma Ring in the victory for Union Pines (4-0). Sage Doughtery assisted on Bowbliss’ score.

Union Pines opens Tri-County Conference play on Monday against Harnett Central at home.

Vikings Rout Jets in Tennis Opener

The Union Pines boys tennis team did not surrender a set to visiting Jordan-Matthews on Tuesday, claiming a 9-0 win to open the season.

Luke O’Donnell, Caleb Downing, Aaron Scodius and Jake Moubry claimed straight set wins in singles play, while David Moubry and Joey Tortora won by forfeit.

Jordan-Mattews forfeited the No. 3 doubles match, and Union Pines claimed 8-0 wins in Nos. 1 and 2 doubles with O’Donnell and Downing in No. 1 doubles and the Moubry brothers teaming up in No. 2 doubles.

Union Pines plays at Triton on Thursday.

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or jonathan@thepilot.com.

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