CBA softball wins ECC tourney
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2006 2:15 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Two for two.
Six days after successfully defending its Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title, the Charles B. Aycock softball team added another accomplishment to its 2006 resume on Tuesday evening. Julia Lancaster tossed a two-hitter and the Golden Falcons defeated Beddingfield 4-1 for the inaugural ECC tournament championship.
"Credit Coach (David) West and his team," said Bruins coach Jeremy Howard. "They deserved it and they proved all year they're the best team in the conference."
Lancaster fanned 12 Bruins and issued four walks. Designated player Megan Gay foiled Lancaster's no-hit bid with a fifth-inning single. Losing pitcher Ana Cooke denied Lancaster the shutout with an RBI single later in the same inning.
Beddingfield (19-5) stranded five runners with two in scoring position.
"We didn't put any hits together," said Howard.
Lancaster retired eight of the final 10 batters she faced.
"What else can you say about her?" said West, whose team finished 7-0 at home against ECC opposition this season. "She has stepped out from under Jenny's shadow and is playing great. She's hitting her spots and having a good time up there on that mound.
"When a kid is enjoying what they do and being successful at it, they're going to put everything they've got into it and that's what Julia is doing right now."
Aycock, which struggled through early March, seized its 15th victory in its last 17 outings.
Six of nine Golden Falcon starters combined for six hits against Beddingfield right-hander Ana Cooke. Pitt Community College signee Brittani Edgerton, Shelly Lancaster, Emily Jordan and Leigh Smith each collected an RBI.
Edgerton scored in the second inning on Jordan's one-out single to left.
Kandace Burroughs reached on an infield error to spark a three-run uprising in the fourth inning. Talton moved Burroughs into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Edgerton doubled home Burroughs and scored on Lancaster's single down the third-base line.
Smith, a first-year starter, concluded the scoring with an RBI single.
"We were able to take advantage of a break or two in that (fourth) inning," said West, whose team rose to 16-7 overall. "You've got to be on the bases and have some timely hitting, and we had both of them. The confidence level was an over-riding factor for us tonight."
The Golden Falcon victory allowed Wilson Hunt to keep possession of the ECC's second automatic bid to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin May 19. Beddingfield and Southern Wayne (15-11) are on the playoff bubble and eligible for one of three wildcard berths -- based on overall winning percentage -- available in the 16-team eastern bracket.
"The five games we've taken on the chin this year have been from unforeseen errors," said Howard, whose team has endured three, three-run losses to Aycock. "We'll be sitting by the phone and see if we get a call in the next couple of days."
Inaugural Class 3-A
Eastern Carolina Conference
(at C.B. Aycock HS, Pikeville)
Beddingfield 000 010 0 -- 1 2 2
C.B. Aycock 010 300 x -- 4 6 2
Leading hitters -- Beddingfield -- Ana Cooke 1-3, RBI; Megan Gay 1-3. C.B. Aycock -- Kandace Burroughs 1-3; Rusti Talton 1-2; Brittani Edgerton 1-3, 2B, RBI; Shelly Lancaster 1-3, RBI; Emily Jordan 1-3, RBI; Leigh Smith 1-3, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Cooke (L) 6 6 4 2 0 4
J. Lancaster (W) 7 2 1 0 4 12
WP -- Cooke 2.
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