RALEIGH — It came down to Allee Boles to get the job done.
Top-seeded North Stokes, down by a run going into the top of the seventh, needed a crucial play to get a series sweep of No. 1 Camden County in the NCHSAA Class 1-A championship on Saturday night.
Boles, a junior who was 0-for-2, stepped up to the plate with two outs. Boles slapped a grounder to center — a two-run single — scoring Carley Gravely from third and Reid Hawkins from second.
It turned out to be just enough. The Vikings (29-1), five years removed from the first Class 1-A title victory in school history, went on to defeat Camden County 6-5 under the lights of Dail Softball Stadium on the campus of N.C. State in just two games out of what was a best-of-3 series.
Ahead by a run, North Stokes sealed the win in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Nicole Villardi grounded to third. A throw to Lora Wood at first ended the game.
The victory got North Stokes its first title since 2014, when the Vikings won in three games over Whiteville in Raleigh.
Boles said she was just hoping she could pull off a play at the plate.
“Honestly, I was just praying the whole time,” Boles said, smiling in left field with her championship medal around her neck. “I just said, ‘Please God, give me the ability to do this for my team.’ “
The Bruins (26-3) managed to rally early in the game. With the Vikings ahead 3-0, a double play in the top of the second appeared to bring life to Camden County.
In the bottom of the third, Camden County scored its first two runs of the series — an RBI double from Hannah Ferebee and Hailey Bunting’s RBI single — after being shut out in Game 1.
The Bruins scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Brianna Bratton singled to center to score Ferebee from third and Kamryn Nash from second. Sierra Hubbard then relieved Autumn Martin in the circle after Martin had thrown 79 pitches for two strikeouts and two walks. Later, with no outs and Camden County ahead 4-3, Bratton reached home when Villardi grounded into a double play.
North Stokes then brought the score back to just a one-run deficit in the top of the sixth. With one out, Mya Sheppard reached home on a groundout by Sydney Mabe to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Coach Jeff Frye of North Stokes explained the comeback.
“We just have said, ‘Play with your heart. Play with your heart. Play with your heart,’” he said. “It’s just awesome.”
Hubbard was named MVP of the championship series.
Hubbard threw 36 pitches with a strikeout and two walks in three innings.
The victory was special for Hubbard, a senior — one of two along with Wood on the team. The series brought back memories of when her sister, Tristan Hubbard, played with the state title team those few years ago.
“In 2014, I watched my sister win the championship and it’s something I’ve always dreamed of,” Hubbard said, tears streaming down her face. “It was just really special to me.”
North Stokes 6 Camden County 5
North Stokes 300 001 2 — 6 11 0 Camden 002 030 0 — 5 5 0
Hailey Bunting and Skylar Hyatt; Autumn Martin, Sierra Hubbard (5) and Sydney Mabe. WP — Sierra Hubbard. LP — Hailey Bunting. Records — North Stokes (29-1), Camden County (26-3).
North Stokes 6 Camden County 0
Camden 000 000 0 — 0 2 5 North Stokes 100 311 X — 6 11 0
Autumn Martin and Sydney Mabe; Hailey Bunting, Samantha Smith (4), Lexi Jones (6) and Skylar Hyatt. WP — Autumn Martin. LP —Hailey Bunting. Records — North Stokes (28-1), Camden County (26-2).