CBA's Lancaster hurls two-hit shutout
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 19, 2006 2:01 AM
KENLY -- Still fielding questions about its youth and talent ability, the Charles B. Aycock softball team might have silenced some critics Friday afternoon.
Junior right-hander Julia Lancaster surrendered two hits in a complete-game effort and the Golden Falcons turned back state-ranked North Johnston 1-0. C.B. Aycock improved to 2-5 overall and snapped its four-game losing streak, the longest in David West's tenure as head coach.
The Panthers (2-5) suffered their second straight loss and first shutout of the season.
"Jenny (Jackson) leaves and we hear questions about how things are going to be different and who will step up," said West, who picked up career win No. 87. "In some cases that's not really fair to the other kids because everybody brings something different to the table. It's taken us some time and will take us a little more time to get everything blended.
"I thought tonight everything started to come together for us, but it still wasn't a perfect ball game."
It was close to perfect.
Lancaster allowed five base runners, but none reached second base. Catcher Kandace Burroughs picked off a runner at first and caught another attempting to steal second in the fifth. The Golden Falcons also turned a fourth-inning double play.
North Johnston hit into four ground-ball outs, struck out eight times and popped out on four occasions in the infield.
"They like to hit (pitches) inside, so I tried to keep the ball more outside," said Lancaster, who threw her second complete game of the year. "They weren't getting to it as much and if they did make contact, they were hitting it to somebody.
"My change-up did pretty good and my rise ball was working good, too."
Mount Olive College signee Hannah Ellis foiled Lancaster's no-hit bid with a one-out single in the fourth. Ellis got doubled off first when C.B. Aycock center fielder Jasmine Dobbin snagged a fly ball and threw back to first baseman Emily Jordan to complete the double play.
Casey Creech rapped a two-out single in the seventh.
"Casey's hit ... thought it might drift on over, but it stayed down and Hannah could have scored on that easy," said veteran Panthers coach George Daniels. "I had given Hannah the steal, but had no idea she (Dobbin) would catch it like that. Once Hannah gets going, she has so much speed she can't stop.
"We just couldn't produce any hits and Lancaster did a good job keeping my heavy hitters off base. They tagged her the other day."
Aycock put four runners on base in the first five innings combined, but couldn't give Lancaster any run support. Panthers right-hander Jessica Narron retired the Golden Falcons in order in the sixth, but couldn't duplicate the feat in the seventh.
Burroughs, also a Mount Olive signee, slapped a lead-off single to right center field. Heather Farmer replaced Burroughs at first and advanced to second on Rusti Talton's sacrifice bunt that barely cleared the plate.
Narron appeared to escape further trouble when she forced Brittani Edgerton to pop out in the infield. But Leigh Smith, who entered the game in the fourth inning, slapped a hard single that deflected off Ellis' glove and rolled into left field.
West signaled Farmer to keep going, but she tripped over third base.
"I stopped myself three times from walking over there and picking her up," said a grinning West. "I was going to tell her to go back to the bag, but she had taken a couple of steps. I still could have stopped her."
But the relay throw to home was high and Farmer safely slid across for the eventual game-winning run.
Lancaster yielded a two-out single to Creech, but struck out Robyn Creech to end the game. Lancaster claimed her second road win of the season.
"We really needed a win today," said Lancaster. "We've had some struggles the past three games. We're a really good team and now that we've got this one, we're on our way to success."
C.B. Aycock 000 000 1 -- 1 5 0
N. Johnston 000 000 0 -- 0 2 0
Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Kandace Burroughs 1-3; Rusti Talton 1-2; Leigh Smith 1-2; Chelsey Byers 1-2; Stevie Savage 1-1. North Johnston -- Hannah Ellis 1-3; Casey Creech 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
C.B. Aycock (2-5)
J. Lancaster (W) 7 2 0 0 1 8
Narron (L) 7 5 1 1 0 2
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