Humphrey, Hawks slam door on Bunn
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 19, 2004 1:56 PM
LAGRANGE -- Veteran Bunn softball coach Mike Lovin has seen some good pitchers this season, but none come close to North Lenoir hurler Hermia Humphrey.
The senior right-hander tossed her second no-hitter in less than a week as the state-ranked Hawks tamed the Wildcats 10-0 on Tuesday evening. North Lenoir (23-2) advanced to the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A playoffs for the second consecutive year with the five-inning win.
Humphrey fanned 11 Bunn hitters, giving her 25 strikeouts in her last three outings. She's held the opposition scoreless for 21 innings, including a perfect-game effort against SouthWest Edgecombe in the semifinals of the Eastern Plains 2-A tournament last Friday.
"She mixed up the pitches and had good velocity," Lovin said. "That rise ball killed us every inning. Every time we thought we were getting adjusted to the low pitch and the marginal outside pitch, she came with that rise ball.
"We're suckers for that high pitch. She did a good job."
Humphrey (14-1) allowed just two base runners in the contest, which officials shortened to 41Ú2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. The Wildcats stranded a runner at first base in the third and fifth innings.
Bunn hit into four groundouts and first baseman Mary Catherine Mills finished perfect in all four putout attempts. Second baseman Morgan Worthington had two assists, while shortstop Leslie Oliver and Humphrey each had one assist.
Catcher Randi Moulton led the defense with 11 putouts.
"We win off the other team giving us breaks, but they don't give breaks," Lovin said.
North Lenoir also turned in its best hitting performance of the season. Six of nine starters collected at least one hit, including Worthington, who batted 4-for-4.
"Morgan has been working hard on hitting and has done an excellent job for us at the plate," Hawks coach Heather Humphrey said. "When it's crunch time, she's getting that base hit and getting those runners in."
Moulton added three hits in four plate appearances. Oliver, the lead-off batter, and Hermia Humphrey each had two hits. The duo combined for five RBI, while Humphrey rapped a two-RBI triple in the third inning.
Mills provided two RBI and Brittany Sanders, the No. 9 batter in the lineup, finished the day 1-for-3.
Oliver knocked in the eventual game-winning run in the second inning. The Hawks added six more in the third, thanks to a crucial miscommunication by the Wildcat defense.
With runners at first and second, Rachel Cromer popped up to shallow left field. Bunn shortstop Ashley Baker back-pedaled toward the ball while Missy Tomberlin charged in from left field. The two collided and the ball bounced on the ground.
The error led to one run. Mills plated Worthington with a fielder's choice groundout and Chanee Lynch followed with a sacrifice fly to right field. Oliver singled home Griffin and Humphrey added her two-RBI triple.
"The infield knows they take everything until the outfield calls them off and the left fielder didn't call her off," Lovin said. "They just got momentum and took it home."
The Hawks, ranked No. 2 in the latest ihigh.com/coaches and media 2-A poll, have held an opponent scoreless for 41 consecutive innings and outscored them 47-0. Humphrey and Worthington have combined for six consecutive shutouts in the pitching circle.
2004 N.C. High School
Class 2-A Softball Playoffs
(at North Lenoir HS)
Bunn 000 00 -- 0 0 3
North Lenoir 016 03 -- 10 13 1
One out when game-ending run scored.
Leading hitters -- North Lenoir -- Leslie Oliver 2-3, 2 RBI; Hermia Humphrey 2-4, 3B, 3 RBI; Randi Moulton 3-4; Morgan Worthington 4-4; Mary Catherine Mills 1-3, 2 RBI; Brittany Sanders 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
Wilson (L) 3 9 7 2 1 2
Davis 11Ú3 4 3 3 2 1
Humphrey (W, 14-1) 5 0 0 0 1 11
WP -- Wilson. HBP -- Oliver (by Davis).
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