05/09/04 — CBA softball edges S. Central in eight innings

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CBA softball edges S. Central in eight innings

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 9, 2004 2:04 AM

WINTERVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock pushed across the game-winning run in the eighth inning and survived South Central 1-0 in a Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference game.

The victory, along with Washington's 1-0 loss to Kinston, gave the Golden Falcons their second consecutive ECC title. They clinched homefield advantage for the first three rounds of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin May 21.

It was kind of tough for the members of South Central's softball team to smile after losing. However, Falcon coach Kemp Ewing knew before anyone stepped on the field what it would take to end C.B. Aycock's long run of conference success.

"When you play a team like C.B. Aycock and the team they've got, you've got to have your 'A' game," Ewing said. "If you don't have your 'A' game, it's tough to beat a team like that. Pitching, hitting, defense, you've got to have the whole thing."

The pitching could be described as being there for South Central since sophomore Jessie Odom allowed only six hits. However, Falcons only got two hits themselvesand their lone fielding error helped C.B. Aycock.

Meredith Wilkerson and Kandace Burroughs hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the eighth for C.B. Aycock. Jenny Jackson slapped a grounder to South Central third baseman Jennifer Joyner. Joyner tried to get a force play at second base, but the throw was too high for Sarah Ribiero to catch, allowing Wilkerson to step on home plate.

Ribiero singled in the bottom of the inning and advanced to second when C.B. Aycock's Brittany Edgerton misplayed the ball. But Jackson, C.B. Aycock's junior pitcher, struck out pinch hitter Stephanie Hines to end the ballgame.

Jackson permitted only one other hit, a single by Odom in the seventh. Jackson struck out 10.

"She's like the Tom Glavine of high school," Ewing said. "You've got to get a hit on her early. Then you've got a chance. But the better the game goes, she gets tougher."

The loss dropped South Central to 15-5 overall, 9-4 in the conference. The Falcons stand alone in third place in the league, and the top four squads qualify for the playoffs.

Both teams from South Central will play host to West Carteret on Wednesday.

C.B. Aycock, ranked No. 1 in the ihigh.com/coaches and media poll, remained unbeaten in 18 outings. Coach David West's team is 12-0 against ECC opposition and entertains county foe Eastern Wayne next Tuesday evening.

The Daily Reflector contributed to this story.