04/10/05 — CBA's Lancaster (Julia) hurls one-hit shutout

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CBA's Lancaster (Julia) hurls one-hit shutout

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 10, 2005 2:06 AM

PIKEVILLE -- Victimized by an uncharacteristic 18 errors in its previous two outings -- both losses -- the Charles B. Aycock experienced a welcomed change Friday evening.

The Golden Falcons capitalized on six errors, at the expense of visiting Eastern Wayne, and rolled to a 10-0 victory in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play. Aycock (7-3) snapped its two-game skid and joined South Central atop the league standings at 5-1.

The Warriors, who return just two starters from a year ago, remained winless in eight contests. They'll carry an 0-6 ECC worksheet into next Wednesday's home battle against Kinston.

Costly defensive miscues prompted Aycock coach David West to alter the starting lineup. Although the changes were minor, the defense turned in an error-free performance.

Catcher Ashley Morris emerged the defensive leader with nine putouts -- all strikeouts by right-handed pitcher Julia Lancaster. First baseman Kandace Burroughs and second baseman Jenny Jackson combined for six putouts. Julia and Shelly Lancaster combined for five assists.

"I'm pleased that we didn't make any errors tonight. That's a big victory for us," West said. "We've been down all week (emotionally) and we needed this game ... an error-free, good-hitting ball game.

"We also needed a pitcher to get some confidence and she (Julia) got it tonight."

Lancaster yielded one hit and allowed just two baserunners in a game shortened to 42/3 innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Angela Lane foiled Lancaster's no-hit bid with a third-inning single, which was just the Warriors' fourth hit in their last 10 innings of play.

Lancaster (3-1) collected nine strikeouts en route to her second shutout of the season.

Eastern Wayne hitters worked Lancaster to full counts on five occasions in the first two innings. However, three batters got caught looking at third strikes while another grounded out to first base.

"A lot of that has to do with inexperience," Warriors coach Scott Waller said. "I've told them all the time that if a pitcher is throwing it across the plate, jump on it. They didn't swing at bad pitches, but they let a good pitch go right by them.

"That's youth."

Aycock manufactured its first two runs off sacrifice fly balls from Jasmine Dobbin (first inning) and Chrissy Setliff (second inning). Setliff plated Jazzmine Lee, who survived on base after the Warriors dropped the ball on a steal attempt.

Warrior right-hander Wendy Gardner retired the first two batters she faced in the third, but an outfield error proved critical. The mistake, along with two errant infield throws, allowed the Golden Falcons to extend their lead to 5-0.

After holding Aycock scoreless in the fourth, Gardner fell prey to another error-proned fifth. One infield error started a five-run outburst that included Chelsey Byers' pinch-hit, two-RBI double and Kandace Burroughs' game-ending RBI to center field.

Nine of Aycock's runs were unearned.

"The same thing that's been killing us all year -- two outs and then we'll make an error," Waller said. "Then, it just snowballs on us. Not to take anything away from Aycock because they hit the ball and put it in play.

"We don't make the routine plays all the time."

Burroughs finished with three hits in four plate appearances. Three fellow starters -- Dobbin, Lee and Brittani Edgerton -- each provided one hit.

Aycock travels to Washington next Tuesday.

Notes: 1B Briana Williams led the Warriors with seven putouts. ... Gardner contributed two putouts and three assists. ... Aycock claimed its 42nd ECC regular-season win since the league's inception in 2001-02.