06/06/04 — Hawks fall to Forbush, still alive

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Hawks fall to Forbush, still alive

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 6, 2004 2:00 AM

RALEIGH -- Two-time defending Class 2-A softball champion Forbush and North Lenoir faced each other -- as expected -- in the winner's bracket final Saturday evening at Walnut Creek.

An uncharacteristic istic error by the Hawks determined the outcome between the two top-ranked teams.

Forbush, ranked No. 1, capitalized on a second-inning miscue and grounded the Hawks 1-0.

The Falcons (29-1) advanced to the title game of the N.C. High School Athletic Association softball playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

Forbush awaits the winner of the North Lenoir/East Davidson elimination game. The two teams play at 2:30 p.m. today with the winner challenging the Falcons for the state championship at 4:30 p.m.

North Lenoir (26-3) loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, but Falcons' pitcher Hannah Angel recorded back-to-back strike outs and enduced a ground out to end the scoring threat.

Angel (28-1) retired 18 of the final 20 batters she faced after that inning.

Meanwhile, the Hawks failed to generate any offense. They left six runners on base with four in scoring position.

Britttany Snow doubled to start the Forbush second. One out later, the Hawks infield misplayed a routine ground ball. This allowed Kayla Beamer, Snow's courtesy runner, to score the games's lone run.

Hawks' right-hander Hermia Humphrey sat down 14 of the final 16 batters she faced after the second inning error put Forbush up 1-0.

The Hawks were shut out for the second time this season and had their 13-game win-streak snappped.

North Lenoir earned the program's first-ever eastern regional title earlier in the day with a 3-2 decision against Elizabeth City Northeastern.

The Hawks scored three runs in the third inning. They collected five hits, including RBI singles by Randi Moulton and Morgan Worthington.

The Eagles (12-8) answered with two runs in the fourth.

An infield groundout and a squeeze-bunt groundout led to both runs.

North Lenoir missed scoring opportunities in the fourth and fifth innings.

Northeastern threatened to send the game into extra innings in the seventh. An infield error and a sacrifice groundout moved courtesy runner Krystal McDaniels to third base.

Humphrey (17-2) walked the next batter to put runners on the corners. She then forced a groundout to end the game and continued the Hawks' record-setting season.

East Davidson elimanated Northeastern 9-4 to set up the contest with the Hawks.

North Lenoir is just the second Eastern Plains Conference team to advance to the final four since Ayden-Grifton made the trip in 2000.

The Hawks are the first EPC team to win an eastern regional championship since the state went to a separate 2A classification in 1998.