Chargers blank Rebels, Carolina softball title up for grabs
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 4, 2006 2:11 PM
CALYPSO -- After Ayden-Grifton's 3-0 win at North Duplin on Wednesday, the Class 1-A Carolina Conference's two state N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff berths are now up for grabs between three teams.
The Rebels (13-4 overall) slipped to 5-2 in league play with three games left and are now tied for 1/2 game back of the Chargers (14-6, 6-2), who have two Carolina contests remaining. Both are behind conference-leading North Johnston (15-6, 7-1).
Ayden-Grifton avenged a 1-0 home loss to the Rebels earlier this season.
"In order for us to go to the playoffs we have to win out," North Duplin coach Heather Best said.
North Duplin actually outhit the Chargers but left six base runners stranded.
"We hit the ball alright, but we just could not put two and two together," Best said.
On Wednesday, Chargers' right-hander Allison Frazier and North Duplin lefty Jessica Pridgen settled into a pitcher's duel.
Pridgen, a sophomore, gave up only two earned runs and struck out four.
"She is really amazing and is only in the 10th grade. She really knows what to do with the ball," Best said.
The game was scoreless through three innings before the Chargers broke on top with two runs in the fourth. An infield error and a triple by Melissa Griffin produced one run as Griffin later scored on a fielder's choice.
North Duplin had hits in the second and third by Pridgen and Jodie Williamson, respectively. In the fourth, two-out singles by Jenny Coley and Williamson gave the Rebels two base runners, but Frazier, who walked just once, retired the next batter on a fly ball to left field.
Frazier recorded six assists from the mound. Her key defensive play in the sixth thwarted another North Duplin rally as Pridgen hit a shot up the middle -- caroming off Frazier's glove to the second baseman, who threw out the speedy Pridgen at first.
Ayden-Grifton added their third run in the sixth on an RBI double by Casey Mathis.
"The girls came in on the road and played good with a lot of heart," Ayden-Grifton coach Chris Williams said. "This is a really good team we beat tonight. I don't take anything away from them. It is possible our league could have tri-champions."
North Duplin catcher Elizabeth Lane had an outstanding defensive game for the Rebels -- throwing out two base runners.
Both teams return to action on Friday as the Rebels travel to Rosewood and the Chargers entertain Princeton.
Ayden-Grifton 000 201 0 -- 3 5 0
North Duplin 000 000 0 -- 0 6 1
Leading hitters -- Ayden-Grifton -- Mindy Tripp 1-3, 2B, run; Melissa Griffin 2-2, 3B, 2 runs, RBI; Casey Mathis 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Cheyenne Utt 1-3. North Duplin -- Jodi Williamson 2-4; Kayla Myers 1-2; Jessica Pridgen 1-3; Casey Pate 1-3; Jenny Coley 1-3.
IP H R ER BB SO
A. Frazier (W) 7 6 0 0 1 3
J. Pridgen (L) 7 5 3 2 2 4
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