Wolverines close season with sweep, likely to host East Lincoln to open playoffs

Polk County closed its regular season in winning fashion on Thursday, sweeping a doubleheader with the WNC Trailblazers at Polk.

The Wolverines took wins of 11-1 and 6-4 to end their season with an overall record of 19-4. Thanks to winning a tiebreaker earlier in the day at a meeting of Western Highlands Conference athletic directors, Polk County will be the second seed from the Western Highlands Conference and will open the state 2A playoffs at home on Wednesday, unofficially hosting East Lincoln, the third seed from the Southern District 7 conference.

East Lincoln (14-8) finished in a three-way tie for second in SD7, then suffered a 6-3 loss to West Lincoln on Thursday in the semifinals of SD7 postseason tournament. That led to a tiebreaker game later Thursday with Bunker Hill for the third seed, and East Lincoln took a 10-7 win in that game to earn that spot. The Mustangs are led by senior Carly Johnson, who has already signed to play next season with Division III Piedmont College.

Official pairings are expected to be released sometime on Monday, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Polk County scored early and often in Thursday’s opener, building a 9-1 lead after four innings and rapping out 11 hits in the win. Ashley Scruggs had three hits and drove in three runs while Hayley Kropp added a paur of hits. Scruggs picked up the win on the mound, scattering six hits and striking out eight.

The Wolverines built a 5-1 lead in the nightcap, but the Trailblazers scored two runs in the fifth to pull within two. Polk added a run in the sixth before the Trailblazers matched that in the seventh for the final margin.

Hayley Kropp had a 3-for-4 effort, Ashley Kropp had two hits and Brittany Jones singled and drove in two runs for the Wolverines.