Softball -- Huge seventh paces Panthers
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on April 4, 2004 9:19 AM
LITTLEFIELD -- North Johnston plated four runs in the top of the seventh inning and survived Ayden-Grifton 4-3 in a battle of Class 1-A Carolina Conference unbeatens Friday evening.
All seven runs were unearned and each team had just two runners to reach base in the first five innings combined.
The Chargers, the reigning Carolina champions, took a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning. They appeared headed for their 17th consecutive league win until critical defensive miscues allowed the Panthers to take control in the seventh.
Two infield errors, which each occurred on routine pop-ups, and a groundout led to two runs. Panther catcher Ashley Tart ripped a single to left field and the Chargers' left fielder drove to catch the ball, but it rolled past her to the fence.
Robyn Creech, who reached on an error, scored the game-tying run on the play. Stephanie Norris, Tart's courtesy runner, finished off the game-winning rally by scoring on a passed ball.
Candace Evans threw a complete-game, three-hitter and struck out nine Ayden-Grifton batters.
Jayme Beacham yielded two hits and struck out 10 for the Chargers.
North Johnston (11-1, 5-0 CC) entertains Wilson Hunt in a non-conference contest Monday, and returns to conference play Tuesday at Spring Creek.
Ayden-Grifton (8-2) is 4-1 in the league.
N. Johnston 000 000 4 -- 4 2 2
A-Grifton 000 003 0 -- 3 3 2
IP H R ER BB SO
Evans (W) 7 3 3 0 3 9
Beacham (L) 7 2 4 0 2 10
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