04/20/04 — Softball -- CBA-NL duel in classic

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Softball -- CBA-NL duel in classic

Published in Sports on April 20, 2004 1:58 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Before the start of Monday night's softball game, Charles B. Aycock coach David West and North Lenoir's Heather Humphrey were tripping over themselves trying to downplaying the contest.

Eleven innings, and two hours and forty-five minutes later, it became another typical Lady Hawk-Lady Falcon encounter, with Aycock coming out the the winner 6-4 in a clash of state-ranked squads.

West's club remains unbeaten at 12-0. North Lenoir's record stands at 13-2, with both losses coming to the Pikeville team.

Aycock had two big innings and they made them count. After going down in order on three infield popups in the first, and three ground balls in the second, they batted around in the top of the third, scoring four runs.

With one out, Meredith Wilkerson's infield fly was dropped, scoring Jackie Schmidt. Rae Anne Edmundson and Brittany Edgarton came home on Kandace Burroughs' triple. Burroughs came home on Jenny Jackson's single.

Although North Lenoir came back to tie the game at four in the sixth inning, they just could not get their offense in sync. The Lady Hawks had at least one runner on base in every inning but the ninth. Despite 13 hits, they left 15 runners stranded on base.

North Lenoir finally cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third. Leslie Oliver reached base safely on an infield error and came home on Rachel Cromer's triple. Oliver then came home on a fielder's choice.

Singles by Brittany Sanders, Cromer, and Morgan Worthington brought in Cromer and Sanders, tying the game.

The stage was set for the conclusion of a pitchers' duel between Worthington and Aycock's Jenny Jackson. From the fifth to the start of the eleventh, Worthington had retired 15 of 16, with only Chessy Byers' single in the eighth to break the streak.

Jackson, who shut out the Hawks over the last five innings, performed equally well. The junior, who was fighting off the effects of the flu that kept her from practice, allowed but one walk, while striking out 14.

"She's awesome," said West. "This is the most she's pitched since the Hartnett Central playoff game last year."

Two sacrifices and an error got runners ins coring position for Aycock in their half of the eleventh. Edmundson then popped a fly into short center that just eluded Cromer, bringing in Kaitlyn Thomas and Jackie Schmidt with what proved to be the winning runs.

"This is the first time that we've scored in Lenoir County since I've been coaching," said West. "These seem like playoff games in April."

Aycock's next game will be Wednesday at Greene Central.

Humphrey pointed to her team's number top problem --runners left on base.

"We hit, but we didn't get them in," she said.

She was also pleased with Worthington's efforts. "Morgan did a good job mixing her pitches and keeping batters off balance," Humphrey said.

North Lenoir will resume their Eastern Plains 2-A conference play this afternoon as they will entertain South West Edgecombe.

"I think our time off did us some good," she said.

C.B. Aycock 004 000 000 02 -- 6 7 5

North Lenoir 002 002 000 00 -- 4 13 3

Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- April Vick 2 hits, Kandace Burroughs 3B. North Lenoir -- Brittany Sanders 3 hits, Rachel Cromer 2 hits, Randi Moulton 2 hits, Charee Lynch 2 hits, Cromer 3B.


C.B. Aycock (12-0)

Jackson (W) 11 13 4 4 1 14

North Lenoir (13-2)

Worthington (L) 11 7 6 2 2 6