03/10/06 — Defending 2-A champs knock off Warriors

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Defending 2-A champs knock off Warriors

Published in Sports on March 10, 2006 2:24 PM

Defending 2-A state softball champion North Lenoir defeated Eastern Wayne 7-2 in a well-played girls softball game in New Hope Thursday night.

The Lady Warriors committed only four errors and got a stellar pitching performance from Wendy Gardner. The right-hander gave up just seven hits and three earned runs while striking out five. North Lenoir freshman pitcher Jordan Conner hurled a five-hitter and surrendered only two earned runs while also striking out five Eastern Wayne batters.

With the loss, the Lady Warriors fell to 0-5 on the season, but head coach Scott Waller was upbeat after the game.

"This is one of our better games in the last couple of years, we play better defense and we can play with some people-main thing we cut down on errors," he said.

"We are a young team and getting better everyday. We did not snowball errors and I don't have any complaints."

The Warriors grabbed the lead in the second inning as Stephanie MacConnely lined a shot to right field and ended up on third base when the ball bounced off the fielder's glove. MacConnely scored on a single by Casey Mitchell.

North Lenoir tied the game in the top of the third when Lauren Hudson hit her second triple of the game driving in Conner. Hudson tried to score an inside the park home run but was thrown out at home plate on a perfect relay throw by the Warriors. The Lady Hawks added single runs in the fourth and fifth and led 3-1 after six innings of play.

Eastern Wayne prevented the Hawks from having a big inning until North Lenoir finally broke loose with four runs in the top of the seventh with just one base hit. Two walks and three errors enabled the visitors to send nine players to the plate in the last inning.

"We worked very hard on defense, I told my girls to just keep putting the ball in play-that is how we scored our runs," North Lenoir head coach Heather Humphrey said.

Eastern Wayne tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the seventh and scored their final run on a base hit by Kaitlin Turner.

"That is a fundamental team, their coach has them ready," Waller said of North Lenoir. "They won a state championship last year and were second the year before so they know what do to with the ball."

The Lady Hawks win was their fifth of the season against just one loss. Eastern Wayne will try to pick up its first win of the season when they travel to face the Princeton Bulldogs this afternoon.

North Lenoir 001 110 4 -- 7 7 2

Eastern Wayne 010 000 1 -- 2 5 4

Leading hitters - North Lenoir - Kayla Sutton 2-4, 2 runs; Lauren Hudson 2-3, 2 3B, RBI; Nicole Howard 1-4, 2B, RBI, run; Emily Brown 1-4, RBI, run; Brittany McPhail 1-2, 2B; Eastern Wayne - Emily Sasser 2-4, 2B RBI; Megan Pittman 1-3; Casey Mitchell 1-2, RBI, run; Kaitlin Turner 1-3


North Lenoir

J. Conner (W) 7 5 2 2 1 5

Eastern Wayne

W. Gardner (L) 7 7 7 3 5 5