Orange squandered a three-run home run by freshman first baseman Jaden Hurdle that gave the Panthers the lead as West Brunswick came back to win 8-5 in the first game of their three-game playoff series in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A softball playoffs.
The teams will play at Orange today at 5 p.m. with the Panthers needing a win to stay alive. If Orange prevails in that game, the decisive third game will follow immediately.
Orange (22-3) played from behind for almost the entire game, save for taking a brief 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth on Hurdle’s homer before handing it back over in the bottom half of the inning.
Orange coach Eddie Davidson said his team lost focus and patience at some critical times in the opening-game loss.
“We just had some things that just didn’t go our way,” Davidson said. “We had some mental mistakes. We got behind but we got back into it. Later, we got runners into position to score but we didn’t get them in.”
Orange fell behind 3-0 in the second inning as West Brunswick took advantage of a pair of walks issued by starting…