04/11/06 — High School Softball - Lancaster tosses first varsity no-hitter

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High School Softball - Lancaster tosses first varsity no-hitter

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 11, 2006 2:00 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock's Julia Lancaster tossed her first varsity no-hitter on Monday at home against Wilson Fike.

But the usual celebration associated with the rare feat was nowhere to be seen as Lancaster's effort was overshadowed by the disappointment of a 2-1 loss to the Golden Demons in a non-conference battle.

Lancaster (7-3), a junior right-hander, walked the first two batters she faced in the bottom of the first -- April Langley and Kellen Skinner. After a sacrifice bunt by Heather Williams, Langley and Skinner came around to score on a fielding and throwing error on the same play.

From there, the righty and her defense settled down to retire 17 of the next 19 Fike batters heading into the top of the seventh. One more Golden Demon batter reached on an error in the last inning, but Lancaster got a key double-play and recorded her 10th and final strikeout to keep the score at 2-0.

"It seems like the more I pitch, the better I get," Lancaster said. "I even go and warm-up between innings when we're hitting. I think we needed to win tonight ... we came out yesterday swinging and hitting the ball, but tonight it wasn't there."

Lancaster finished with three walks and her two runs allowed proved to be unearned.

After stranding six in the first six innings against Skinner, Aycock (9-7) finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh.

Stevie Savage laced a one-out double to right center, then similar to Fike's first inning runs, scored on a double-error on the same play when Jazzmine Lee reached on a miscue, and Savage raced home on an errant throw.

Lee advanced to second on the late throw home, but was left stranded when Skinner recorded the final two outs -- a fly ball to center and a grounder to first -- on two pitches.

"In the first innings, we didn't play defense well enough or coach well enough to win this game," Aycock coach David West said.

The Golden Falcons (6-6) had six hits, but Skinner -- with help from her defense -- pitched out of a handful of tough situations as Aycock had a base-runner in all but one inning.

With one out in the third, lead-off hitter, Brittney Ford, tripled to right center, then Jasmine Dobbin reached on a bunt single to put runners on first and second. After Dobbin stole second, Kandace Burroughs lifted a fly ball to shallow center. Ford tried to tag and score, but Langley quickly tossed a one-hopper to catcher Amber Miller, who applied the tag on a sliding Ford to end the inning.

Leigh Smith and Brittani Edgerton, who also had a single in the second, provided base hits in the fourth and sixth respectively, but Skinner managed to keep Aycock off the scoreboard.

Skinner struck out five against only one walk and her one run allowed was unearned.

"Early on in the year, we weren't backing her up in the field. The last couple of games, she's found a groove and mixed her pitches well," Fike coach John Jones said. "This is the first time we've beat Aycock in quite some times. It's a big notch for our program."

Aycock will take a 4-1 mark in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference into today's battle at home against Wilson Beddingfield as the second half of league play begins.

"Thank goodness this came in a non-conference game. You hate to lose any game, but at least it didn't hurt us in the conference race," West said. "Our non-conference schedule all year, we knew it would be tough. We didn't put anybody on the schedule that we would have an easy game with.

"We know from playing teams like this, we're going to get better."

Fike, 4-0 in the Class 3-A NEW 6 Conference, hosts SouthWest Edgecombe in a key battle today.

Wilson Fike 200 000 0 -- 2 0 2

C.B. Aycock 000 000 1 -- 1 6 3

Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Brittney Ford 1-4, 3B; Brittani Edgerton 2-3; Stevie Savage 1-3, 2B, run.


Wilson Fike (6-6)

K. Skinner (W) 7 6 1 0 1 5

C.B. Aycock (9-7)

J. Lancaster (L, 7-3) 7 0 2 0 3 10