Catawba Ridge’s Janelle Iiacqua rips a hit during the game against South Pointe Monday evening. Photos by Rob Upton

A young Catawba Ridge softball team dominated South Pointe in their home opener for a commanding 15-0 win.

Led by the arm of freshman Chloe Burger, the Copperheads allowed just two hits in the game and rattled off 11 hits of their own to improve to 7-3 on the season.

Coming off back-to-back tournaments, this was the first head-to-head match-up Catawba Ridge had this season and was also their home opener and Region 3-4A opener.

“We got talent,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Michael Kidd. “I want our focus to be on winning the region. I like our chances when we get to the playoffs.”

The Copperheads are ripe with talent, but also young as they have just one senior on the team and three freshmen, one of which is catcher Aubrey Wilson, who is already garnering Division I interest. The team has just two juniors, one of which is University of Michigan commit Janelle Ilacqua.

Kidd, who led Nation Ford softball for a decade including to a state championship, knows the sky is the limit if they can make the playoffs. The win against South Pointe was Kidd’s 200th career win.

“We can make a run,” he said. “Getting to the playoffs is just going to put more games under our belt, especially after losing last year (to the coronavirus). I see us growing a ton this year.”

Catawba Ridge showed their talent Monday as Burger got off to a rough start by loading the bases, but managed to work out of the jam. Burger struck out 14, and allowed four walks in the game to go with the two hits.

In the bottom of the first, the Copperheads scored six runs on five hits to take a commanding lead and never let up.  Ilacqua led the game off with a triple, as she went 1-3 in the game. Braylon Lawrence and Wilson would then drive in back-to-back runs as Lawrence went 2-4 with an RBI and Wilson went 1-3 with two RBI in the game.

Georgia Burford would then drive in a run in the first as she went 2-3 in the game with a double in the second inning as well. Sophia Barr would end the scoring in the first for the Copperheads with an RBI double of her own as she went 3-3 in the game with two RBI as well.

 Catawba Ridge would score a run in the second, three runs in the third and then five in the fourth to move the game along, as they were aided by six South Pointe errors as well.

The Copperheads will have a busy week ahead as they will have to face Rock Hill today and then South Pointe two more times based on their schedule.


Nation Ford boys beat Clover 11-5 to improve to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in Region 3-5A. The Nation Ford girls fell to Clover 14-13 in overtime and dropped to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the region.


Catawba Ridge beat York 5-1. Getting wins in single matches for the Copperheads was Alex Macaulay, Devin Hartzog, Aiden Lilies and Koen Tesamale. In the lone doubles match, Sammy Mullis and Cade Gainey won as well for Catawba Ridge.


Catawba Ridge beat South Pointe 7-1 to open their Region 3-4A schedule. Greyson Wild threw a one hit, 13 strikeout performance and Lane Boutwell went 2-3 at the plate to lead the Copperheads. Catawba Ridge improves to 4-2 on the season and will next play South Pointe at home Wednesday.

Nation Ford improved to 6-2 overall with a 13-3 win over Gaffney in their Region 3-5A opener. Kenan Bowman and Seth Hanson each went 3-4 at the plate for the Falcons. Eric Yelton went six innings striking out five and walking two, while giving up three hits in the win.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Copperheads’ pitcher Chloe Burger throws a pitch during her two hit shutout against South Pointe Monday evening.