Golden Falcons advance into third round of NCHSAA softball playoffs
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 25, 2005 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- If it was experience for his youthful team that West Brunswick softball coach Joe Nobles was looking for in coming to its second-round N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A matchup at C.B. Aycock yesterday afternoon, his wish was granted.
And then some.
Nobles, who said "his team was just happy to be here," had to be all the more eager to go home. It had to be a long, long bus ride back to Shallote. The Trojans may have got more than they bargained for as they were steamrollered 13-0 in a five-inning game.
The Lady Falcons will entertain Eastern Carolina 3-A rival South Central on Thursday night at 7. Coach David West's team carries a 21-3 record into the next round.
Nobles thought he had a plan to deal with one of Aycock's many strengths; their pitching.
"We recruited some local college pitchers in the area to get our batters acclimated to what they would be facing," he said. "Actually," he continued, "I thought we were hitting fairly well."
Not good enough, though.
West Brunswick could not get through the gauntlet of starter Jenny Jackson, freshman Emily Jordan, and sophomore Julia Lancaster. Jackson improved her record to 14-2.
The trio allowed only two hits and one walk, while striking out six. Jackson walked Ashley Williams to lead off the second inning. She was promptly erased on a fielder's choice with the senior stalwart striking out the next two batters.
Jordan, a southpaw, needed only eight pitches to dispose of her guests in the fourth inning. After striking out Melissa Orth to lead off the fifth, Lancaster relied on outstanding defensive work by catcher Kandace Burroughs to close out the game.
Burroughs, who was filling in for the injured Ashley Morris, gunned down pinch runner Quanella Bryant on an attempted steal. She then picked Heather Carter off first for the final out.
While West was hopeful that Morris, who is out day-to-day will return from her broken finger tip, he was more than satisfied with her replacement. "Kandace (Burroughs) is a gamer," he said.
"She's every coach's dream. She'll go where ever and she produces."
Burroughs, however, admitted to a few misgivings. "I was really, really nervous," she said. "In fact, I threw up twice before the game. From 'traveling ball,' I knew our pitchers. So, it wasn't that bad."
Besides pitching and defensive acumen, the Lady Falcons also gave West Brunswick a few tips from the top on offense. Fifteen batters went to the plate in the first inning against starter Carter and reliever Amber Ramparet.
Left fielder Rusti Talton brought home Brittani Edgerton, Burroughs, and Jackson with a triple off the left field fence.
"I knew Aycock's first four could hit," said Nobles. "I didn't think their fifth hitter could jack one out the way she did."
With one out, the Trojans faced a second wave of scoring. Walks to Chelsea Byers, Jasmine Dobbin, and Burroughs, complemented singles by Jazzmine Lee and Edgarton, and a sacrifice fly by Jackson to make the score 9-0 at the end of one.
Aycock iced the game in the third. Walks again ignited the rally. West Brunswick surrendered a total of ten on the night. Jordan and Talton walked, Lee singled. With two outs, Lancaster tripled, bringing in Lee, Talton, and Chrissy Setliff.
"We really came out swinging tonight," said West. "We were aggressive all the way around, on the bases, defensively, everywhere."
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