Enka softball coach Jennifer Kruk stopped by a local diner for breakfast on Thursday.
What was on the menu?
Eggs, bacon and a whole lot of talk about the undefeated Sugar Jets (23-0).
The Hominy Valley and surrounding areas turned out strong for Tuesday’s third round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs. And nothing less than a packed house is expected Friday when top-seeded Enka hosts No. 12 Ledford (19-7) in the fourth round.
The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. inside Griffin Park.
The winner in this final stage of single-elimination gets to play in next week’s best-of-three 3-A Western Regional championship series against either defending state champion Sun Valley (23-2) or Piedmont (20-4).
“Everywhere you go, everybody wants to know what time we’re playing and how good (Ledford) is,” Kruk said.
“It’s really been a lot of fun to see so many people take an interest in these girls. We love being at home with our crowd, and with it being a later starting time, we’re hoping to have an even bigger crowd than we did (Tuesday).”
Everything comes in sets with this Enka team.
The Sugar Jets have five sisters from two different families – the Harrises (Addison, Danielle and Jordan) and the Fletchers (Brittany and Whitney).
Jordan Harris is the team’s catcher, and the Appalachian State recruit has established a school record for single-season RBIs (46). The team’s other college recruits are senior shortstop Jasmine Palmer (Florida State), who is batting a team-high .580 with 23 RBIs, five doubles, four home runs and three triples.
Freshman second baseman Kloyee Anderson committed to Alabama in December and is hitting .517 with 17 RBIs, four doubles and 20 stolen bases, 14 more than any other player on Enka’s roster.
Every team left in the playoffs has one reliable pitcher.
Enka has the luxury of two – sophomore Katie Grace Olinger (12-0 with a 1.92 earned-run average and 79 strikeouts in 65.2 innings pitched) and junior Courtney Pearson (11-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 76.1 innings pitched), who has committed to Queens and was the 2014 MAC Pitcher of the Year.
Tuesday was Olinger’s turn in the circle. She threw a four-hit complete game with five strikeouts and no walks.
Payton Trantham (.311) slugged her fourth home run of the season in the 12-2 win over West Iredell and led Enka with three RBIs. Addison Harris (.438), Danielle Harris (.416), Mariah Foxworth (.394) and Palmer added two each.
Ledford’s leadoff hitter is University of North Carolina recruit Destiny DeBerry (.565), who has been successful in all 42 of her stolen-base attempts the past two seasons. She was the 2014 Mid-Piedmont Conference Player of the Year.
The Panthers are based out of Thomasville and were the Mid-Piedmont runner-up team with a 9-3 league record to Southwestern Randolph (18-6, 11-1).