Softball, baseball seasons are underway in Chatham


With the infamously flippant North Carolina climate giving us a heat wave last week, it was the perfect time to start high school softball and baseball in Chatham County.

Entering this week, all five area schools with softball and baseball teams — Chatham Central, Chatham Charter, Jordan-Matthews, Northwood and Seaforth — played at least one game.

The top softball team in Chatham County through the first week of the season is seemingly Chatham Central, which boasted a 2-0 record heading into its Tuesday night game at South Davidson (game occurred after press time). The Bears had the best record of any area team last spring at 15-7 and look poised to build on that momentum over the next few months.

Central’s first two wins came by a combined score of 20-0. Leading the charge for the Bears so far has been senior Mackenzie Gaines, who pitched 10 of the team’s first 12 innings of the season, allowing just two hits and striking out 12 batters in the process. At the plate, junior Katherine Gaines started the season 4-for-7 with four hits and an RBI, whole sophomores Emma Burke and Caleigh Warf, junior Cassie McKeithan and freshman Alleigh Bower all have at least three RBI so far.

In a matchup of two county teams Monday night, the Jordan-Matthews softball team took down Northwood, 12-6. Last season, the Jets finished third in the Mid-Carolina Conference with a 7-3 league record, but they were 2-12 against non-conference opponents.

Jordan-Matthews top-returning player from last season is sophomore Sophia Murchison, who led the team with a .571 average in 2022.

Two county softball teams play their first games of the season Thursday. Seaforth opens its spring campaign at home against Apex Friendship at 6 p.m., while Chatham Charter travels to Oxford for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

County baseball teams had a less successful start to the season, as Northwood, Seaforth, Jordan-Matthews and Chatham Central were a combined 0-7 entering Tuesday night’s games.

The Seaforth baseball team had an 0-3 record entering Tuesday’s road game at Southern Wake Academy. The Hawks, who are coached by Landon Jones, are in their second season as a program after going 3-13 last season. Seaforth returned its entire roster from last spring over the offseason, including a trio of players in sophomores Cade Elmore and Daniel White and junior Dane O’neill who hit at least .300 with five RBI in spring 2022.

The top county baseball team from last spring, Chatham Central, opened its 2023 campaign with a narrow 2-1 loss to Asheboro last Wednesday and played at home Tuesday against Grace Christian (after press time). The Bears — who boasted a 14-11 overall record last season — are coached by Brett Walden.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.