LEXINGTON,NC (WWAY)–The last time the Hoggard softball team played for a state championship was 2019, when they fell in a heartbreaking game three to South Caldwell. On Saturday night, in the NCHSAA Class 4A State Championship game the Vikings flipped the script to claim their first title in program history.
In the bottom of the 7th inning Hoggard’s Jordan Martin came through with the biggest hit of her young career. The Vikings sophomore pounded a hit through the left side to score Madison Scanlan from third and give Hoggard the thrilling walk-off win, 6-5.
“It’s just so unbelievable,”says Martin. “Like I’m shaking and crying still from it. It’s just such an amazing feeling.”
The championship didn’t come without hardship for this Hoggard team. The Vikings dropped game two of the series in a 1-0 loss in 10 innings earlier on Saturday, but head coach Colleen St. Ledger said she had confidence this group could get the job done.
“They never give up, they really don’t,” says 26th year head coach Colleen St. Ledger. “They come to play every game. You know we got beat today for the first time. You know we had a little chat on the bus saying ‘that you know you can’t leave anything on the field. You can’t have regrets when you get back on the bus today.’ So, we didn’t leave anything on the field today.”
Hoggard got another complete game in the circle from Icess Tresvik. The senior threw over 350 pitches in the three game series, picking up the win in games one and three. Tresvik led off the game with a single and came around to score the first run of the game on a Sydney Short two RBI double in the first inning.
From that point on the offense caught fire for the Vikings. Tresvik and Short both hit solo home runs in the bottom of the third to extend the Hoggard lead to 4-1, but East Forsyth responded with three runs of their own in the 4th to tie the game at four.
The Eagles would eventually take the 5-4 lead in the 5th inning, but with their backs against the wall the Vikings responded yet again with a run in the 6th. Junior Allie Royal drove in a run with a bases loaded walk to the game up at 5 apiece.
The bottom of the 7th inning was set up with back to back singles from Madison Scanlan and Amber Small. Bella Colbert moved Scanlan to third with a sacrifice fly. That set the stage for Jordan Martin to be the hero for John T. Hoggard High School with a walk-off game winner in the bottom of the 7th.
Icess Tresvik was named championship series MVP after pitching 23 1/3 innings, allowing just four earned runs, and striking out 34 Eagle hitters. She says this is something they’ve been waiting for since June of 2019.
“It kind of feels surreal, it’s everything,” Tresvik says. “This was my biggest goal for our team this year. It was to win and come back from two years ago. We made it happen, we battled. I mean that first loss we had it hurt, but we gathered our thoughts and battled back.”
The Vikings end their 2021 season with a remarkable (19-1) record, which is something this team knew was possible. They just had to leap over hurdle after hurdle to reach their ultimate goal of being named state champs.
“I think the biggest thing is just everything we’ve overcome,”says Hoggard junior Sydney Short. “You know we lost a season, we lost our coach at the beginning of the year. We’ve been through so much, so I think that’s you know the biggest thing, is just how much we’ve overcome to get to this point.”
A year to remember for the Vikings ends with a state championship trophy in hand.