04/05/05 — Lady Hawks overcome 1-hit performance, complete season sweep

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Lady Hawks overcome 1-hit performance, complete season sweep

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 5, 2005 1:56 PM

LAGRANGE -- Like most of the softball matchups between Charles B. Aycock and North Lenoir, the hit-total was low and relatively even.

Despite getting just one hit, the undefeated Lady Hawks and pitcher Morgan Worthington took advantage of their control in several other categories, sweeping the two-game season-series against the Golden Falcons with a 5-1 win at home.

Worthington struck out 13, while walking none and facing just two three-ball counts. She closed the game in impressive fashion -- fanning 10 of the last 13 batters she faced.

North Lenoir (12-0) committed just one error behind the senior right-hander, coming in the top of the seventh with two outs.

"She pitched well and Randi (Moulton) did a good job calling pitches," Hawks coach Heather Humphrey said. "The more she pitches, the stronger she gets, and I think she knows her defense is going to back her up."

Meanwhile, the Hawks took advantage of three of Aycock's six errors in the first two innings. Falcon starter Julia Lancaster gave up four runs with four walks in the first two innings, but Ashley Griffin's fielder's choice and RBI proved to be the only earned run.

Lancaster finished with eight walks in four innings of work, but pitched out of a couple of tough jams. The Hawks struck for their final run in the fourth on a fielder's choice ground out by Worthington, but Lancaster pitched out of a bases-loaded situation by striking out the side to close out her final inning.

North Lenoir left 11 on the bases and stranded three, twice.

"Julia is a good pitcher, and this is a good team. It was her chance to pitch against a quality opponent like North Lenoir," Aycock coach David West said. "I thought she pitched pretty good, except for a few places, but it wasn't just her. We dropped some balls behind her, and you take away a few wild pitches and maybe we are still playing."

"They (North Lenoir) are good enough to take advantage of every opportunity."

North Lenoir leadoff hitter, shortstop Leslie Oliver scored three times -- walking twice and getting hit by a pitch.

Aycock (6-2) got its lone run in the fourth as senior Jenny Jackson's one-out single plated Kandace Burroughs, who doubled to right-center field one batter before. After Jackson's RBI, Worthington gave up only more hit -- another single by Jackson in the top of the seventh.

Jackson was also solid in two, shutout innings of relief, striking out three and pitching around three more defensive miscues by Aycock.

Jackson, a Western Carolina signee, will start on the mound today at South Central when the Falcons return to Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference action. Aycock enters the game with a 4-0 league mark.

"Hopefully we got all of that (errors, walks) out of us tonight, and we will be ready for South Central," West said.

North Lenoir travels to arch rival South Lenoir on Friday in both team's Eastern Plains 2-A Conference opener.

"We haven't hit the ball for the last couple of games and we left 11 people on base today," Humphrey said. "We can't do that when we get in conference."