May 6—PINETOWN — Vance Charter cemented themselves as a contender for the NCHSAA 1A Softball State Championship by knocking off the top-seeded Northside-Pinetown 11-1 on the road in five innings on Wednesday evening.
Head coach Brian Bunn knew that Vance Charter would have to be perfect to stand a chance against an efficient program like Northside-Pinetown but believed that his players exceeded all of his expectations.
"This is probably the best performance by any team that I've coached," Bunn said. "These girls came to play from start to finish. They put the pressure on, played great defense, hit the ball and Jordan [Dunn] pitched a great game."
Vance Charter controlled the game from the opening pitch, as they pulled out to a 5-0 advantage over Northside-Pinetown by the end of the second inning.
After a scoreless third inning, Vance Charter increased the pressure by attacking Northside-Pinetown's outfield, scoring six more runs before the mercy rule was evoked after the fifth inning had concluded.
Dunn and junior Charly Cooper led Vance Charter in runs with three apiece, while junior Makayla Simmons tallied two runs herself. Makayla's twin sister in Makyiah, along with junior Avery Puryear, each registered a team-high three RBIs.
Other than a handful of small errors, Bunn could not find anything significant to criticize from his team's performance on Wednesday and is confident that Vance Charter can keep replicating that efficiency as the postseason progresses.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," Bunn said. "However, at the end of the day, each step becomes more and more difficult. We have to go back to work and get ready for the next one."
The next team up for Bunn and his players will be Camden County on Friday afternoon, who ended Vance Charter's hopes of a state title back in 2019 with a 3-2 victory in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 1A Softball State Championship.