04/06/05 — Southern Wayne rolls: Eastern Wayne kept winless on softball field

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Southern Wayne rolls: Eastern Wayne kept winless on softball field

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 6, 2005 1:52 PM

Southern Wayne's softball team evened their Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference mark at 3-3 and left Eastern Wayne still searching for its first win with a 12-2 win in five innings at New Hope on Tuesday.

The Saints (5-4 overall) got four consistent innings out of senior right-hander Karen Thornton, who gave up just three hits and one earned run during her stint. Thornton (3-3) struck out three against one walk and got solid defensive play behind her.

Left-hander and fellow senior Lesli Darden came on to throw the fifth, giving up a one-out walk before striking out the last two to finish off the win. Darden also reached base safely and scored on each of her three plate appearances.

"I tell my pitchers to try to get ground balls and mix up their pitches," Southern Wayne coach Brad Matthews said. "If you can do that, you can get some hitters out."

Offensively, all but one Southern Wayne starter reached base as the Saints made contact against Warrior junior Wendy Gardner and kept pressure on a shaky Warrior defense. Eastern Wayne, a team with only three returning starters from last season, committed nine total errors and eight of the Saints' 12 runs proved to be unearned against Gardner.

Hailey Fail and Meredith Davis, hitting one and two, respectively, had two RBI each to lead Southern Wayne's eight-hit effort. Fail and Davis had one RBI each in a three-run fifth that pushed the game to its final margin.

Rachel Reynolds delivered a lead-off triple to left to start the fourth and scored one batter later on a single to right by Alyssa Bradshaw. Reynolds crossed home three times -- scoring the 12th and final run as she raced home on an infield error after reaching on a fielder's choice.

"We give up five or six outs every inning, and we don't hit the ball well enough to do that," Eastern Wayne coach Scott Waller said. "We've got to make the routine plays. I can't complain about Wendy (Gardner). We just can't give them nine extra runs."

Ninth hitter, Lynn Grantham, added two hits and scored twice for the Saints, who scored at least one run in each inning.

"If the bottom of our lineup hits the ball, we are going to be tough to beat," Matthews said. "I think we can play with anybody. We just have to play everyday and be consistent. It's hard to believe that this group will let down. They are dependent."

Eastern Wayne scratched for its two runs in the second. Lindzy McDonald started the inning with a single, then eventually moved to third and scored on a pair of Saint errors. Gardner reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, before crossing home on an RBI base hit by Christine Fricke.

The Warriors' Brianna Williams singled to start the third and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carrie Adams. But, Fail, the Southern Wayne second baseman, helped end the threat by snaring a hard-hit line drive by Emily Sasser, then doubling Williams off of second for an unassisted double-play.

Southern Wayne takes on non-conference, Wayne County foe Spring Creek at home today, before returning to ECC play on April 12 at West Craven. Eastern Wayne faces another league and county rival, Charles B. Aycock, in Pikeville on Friday.

"We are just trying to improve every game and get better," Waller said. "I'm still moving people around."