Softball: Cox Stifles Smithfield Offense to Lead Grafton to Conference 19 Title

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Kayley Cox (file photo)
Kayley Cox (file photo)

A two-run single from Ansley Ashby in the top of the sixth proved to be enough offense for Grafton to knock off Smithfield on the road in the Conference 19 Championship Friday.

Grafton pitcher Kayley Cox held a tough Smithfield lineup in check, allowing five hits despite only striking out two batters.

Clippers Coach Vanessa Young said the Grafton defense backed up Cox and came together as a team to earn the victory.

“We knew we were the underdogs, so we went in with the mindset of being relaxed,” she said. “If you play your game you never know what could happen.”

Both teams struggled to find offense on the night, with Grafton striking out 11 times against Smithfield ace Sydney Gay.

Despite the offensive struggles, Ansby’s lone hit was enough to propel Grafton to a Conference 19 championship

“It’s been a long journey,” Young said. “We’ve been at it for 10 years, but this is the first one we’ve been able to pull off. To finally do it, it’s an exciting feeling. We couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Clippers (17-5) will continue their post-season run in the 4A South tournament when they host Churchland on Monday.

Grafton: 000;002;0 – 2 6 0
Smithfield: 000;001;0 – 1 5 1

WP: Kayley Cox
LP: Sydney Gay

Grafton: Ansley Ashby (1-3, 2 RBIs), Jessica Sprouse (2-4)
Smithfield: Sydney Gay (11 K)