03/09/06 — Prep softball - Laney's White blanks Saints

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Prep softball - Laney's White blanks Saints

Published in Sports on March 9, 2006 2:31 PM

DUDLEY -- If any members of the Southern Wayne softball team aspire to play the sport in college, they now know what it will take to reach that level.

Four of Laney's starting nine have already accepted college scholarships.

UNC-Wilmington-bound pitcher Lisa White put on a masterful display on Wednesday as the state-ranked Buccaneers (Class 4-A) walloped the youthful Saints 8-0. Deftly moving the ball in and out of the strike zone, the left-hander spun a two-hitter and recorded 16 of the game's 21 outs via strikeout.

"I was trying to get ahead of the batters and stay on top," she said. "(It helps that) I've got a lot of confidence in my defense behind me."

With the sun setting as the game got underway, White had trouble getting loose, which may have been why Southern Wayne's Brianna Lofton lashed a double to right center leading off the bottom of the first.

But White looked plenty loose after that, as she stranded Lofton at second by striking out the next three Saints to end the inning. She did that three times during the game and recorded at least two strikeouts in each inning.

"She was really good," said Southern Wayne shortstop Alyssa Bradshaw, who was one of three Saints to strike out three times in the game. "She had great movement and she kept hitting the corners."

Southern Wayne coach Brad Matthews said he didn't think Bradshaw struck out three times during the entire 2005 season.

"She was daggone tough," Matthews said. "She must have had good movement on the ball because I didn't think she threw that hard. She made us look bad at the plate."

But Matthews didn't have a handy reason for why the Saints looked so bad in the field -- committing eight errors in the seven-inning game.

"We stunk it up defensively," he said. "We'll correct it."

The Bucs jumped on the Saints for four runs in the top of the first, sending eight batters to the plate against freshman pitcher Lauren Darden.

Darden retired two of the first three Laney batters, but the first in the string of errors allowed Ashley Lacock to score the Bucs' first run of the game. A single, a double and an errant throw later, it was 4-0 for a pitcher who needed just one run to get the win.

"They made a few mistakes," Laney coach Jim Fisk said. "And when you've got good pitching, it's tough to come back."

The visitors scored twice in the second and once in the third to go ahead 7-0. At the same time, White was in the midst of retiring 11 consecutive batters - 10 by strikeout.

Once she adjusted to the umpire's strike zone, White was efficient with her pitches.

Finding it difficult to get a strike on the inside corner, White moved the Saints off the plate with inside pitches and worked the outside corner and beyond with fastballs and change-ups.

"I thought too much up there," Bradshaw said, shaking her head. "I kept stepping out (while swinging)."

Bradshaw, a 10th-grader, said she and her teammates weren't prepared for a pitcher with both good velocity and accuracy.

"We've got to get better," she said. "This was a good learning experience right here...we want to be that good."

Laney scored its final run of the game off Morgan Davis, who relieved Darden in the sixth. The first batter she faced, Jenna Marcum, stroked a fly ball over the left center field fence to make it 8-0.

While the Saints were still digesting their loss, their thoughts turned to today's game at Rosewood. The Eagles topped the Saints 2-0 in Southern Wayne's home opener last week.

"We're going to come ready to play them," Bradshaw said. "Because they shouldn't have beaten us."

Laney 421 001 0 -- 8 9 0

Southern Wayne 000 000 0 -- 0 2 8

Leading hitters -- Laney -- Eryn Teague 4-4, RBI; Nikki Lynch 2-4, RBI; Cameron Steger 2B, RBI; Jenna Marcum HR. Southern Wayne -- Brianna Lofton 1-2, 2B.



White (W) 7 2 0 0 1 16

Southern Wayne

Darden (L) 5 6 7 2 3 4

Davis 2 3 1 1 1 2