C.B. Aycock takes battle of ECC softball unbeatens
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 28, 2007 1:48 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock didn't challenge Wilson Hunt right-hander Brittany Farmer during the first two innings of Tuesday afternoon's Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference battle.
Farmer retired the Golden Falcons in order on five groundouts and one fly ball on just 12 pitches.
"The first two innings were going a little bit too quick," said C.B. Aycock head coach David West. "We were rushing ourselves up there a little bit. But, on the other hand, at least the girls were begin aggressive.
"Maybe that was a precursor for what happened a little later."
Brittany Ford smashed a three-run home run in a five-run, third-inning uprising and state-ranked C.B. Aycock upended the previously-unbeaten Warriors 6-3. The Golden Falcons (6-4 overall) climbed to 3-0 against ECC opposition, while Hunt (3-1 ECC) endured its first defeat in 11 outings this season.
Farmer threw no more than two pitches to five of the first six batters she faced. Julia Lancaster, the reigning News-Argus pitcher of the year, foiled Farmer's no-hit bid with a lead-off single in the third.
Lancaster moved into scoring position on back-to-back wild pitches. The senior remained at third when Farmer issued a walk to Jazzmine Lee, Aycock's No. 9 batter in the lineup.
Ford fouled off a couple of pitches and worked Farmer to a full count. The next pitch came straight down the pipe and Ford slapped it over the left field fence. It was Ford's first homer of the season and just the second of her varsity career.
"That was a powerful shot," said Hunt coach Riley Hurdle.
Farmer yielded RBI singles to Jasmine Dobbin (2-for-3) and Shelly Lancaster after Ford's homer. Hurdle pulled Farmer and replaced her with Jessica Lucas, who tossed 3-plus innings of one-run, two-hit relief.
"Brittany started feeling a little bit sick and had told me about it," said Hurdle. "I asked 'do you think you can go' and she said she could. That's how hard of a competitor she is. Jessica did a wonderful job coming in and finishing things up for us.
"That third inning was the back-breaker right there."
Hunt averted the shutout on Janna Joyner's one-out, RBI single in the fourth. The Warriors threatened to chase Aycock left-hander Emily Jordan from the pitcher's circle in the fifth, but third baseman Stevie Savage turned an inning-ending double play.
The twin-killing put a dagger in Hunt.
"They made a beautiful double play," said Hurdle. "(If) little things like that don't happen, it could have been a different ball game."
The Warriors pushed two unearned runs across in the seventh on Heather Finch's pinch-hit, RBI single and an outfield error. Jordan (4-1) settled down and induced back-to-back groundouts to end the 1-hour, 17-minute contest.
"I think it gave the girls a little bit of confidence, even though we got down in the top of the seventh," said West of the double play. "I told them to think back to that, get your confidence back and we did.
"We did a good job from there."
C.B. Aycock, ranked No. 7 in the latest N.C. Fast-pitch Softball Coaches Association 3-A poll, picked up its 52nd victory in 55 regular-season ECC games. The Golden Falcons begin a three-game road swing today at Greene Central and are the guests of county foe Eastern Wayne on Friday.
Wilson Hunt 000 100 2 -- 3 4 1
Charles B. Aycock 005 001 x -- 6 6 4
Leading hitters -- Hunt -- Janna Joyner 1-3, RBI; Heather Finch 1-1. C.B. Aycock -- Brittany Ford 1-3, HR, 3 RBI; Jasmine Dobbin 2-3, RBI; Shelly Lancaster 1-3, RBI; Julia Lancaster 1-2, RBI.
DP -- C.B. Aycock 1. LOB -- Hunt 4, C.B. Aycock 2. SB -- Dobbin. SF -- J. Lancaster.
IP H R ER BB SO
Farmer (L) 22/3 4 5 3 1 1
Lucas 31/3 2 1 1 0 1
Jordan (W, 4-1) 7 4 3 1 1 3
WP -- Farmer 2, Jordan 1. PB -- Talton. HBP -- Farmer (by Jordan).
T -- 1:17.
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