Thriller in Dudley: Dobbin provides game-winning hit in 1-0 CBA win
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 4, 2007 1:49 PM
DUDLEY -- A classic pitching duel between county softball rivals Charles B. Aycock and Southern Wayne ended in controversial fashion Tuesday evening.
Saints catcher Lindsey Pearsall checked her two-strike swing on Julia Lancaster's pitch and was stunned seconds later. The umpire called a strike, which resulted in a game-ending strikeout and helped the Golden Falcons escape 1-0 in a nine-inning thriller.
C.B. Aycock improved to 9-4 overall and grabbed sole possession of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference lead at 5-0. Southern Wayne, ranked No. 6 in the N.C. Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association poll, suffered its first league defeat in five outings.
"It was obvious Lindsey didn't go and I'm not going to say that cost us the game," said Southern Wayne head coach Brad Matthews. "We had our chances the first seven innings."
The Saints (13-2 overall) stranded the game-winning run at third base in the sixth inning. Lancaster, who notched 12 strikeouts in a complete-game effort, induced an inning-ending groundout from shortstop Alyssa Bradshaw.
"That was our chance right there," said Matthews. "We had what we wanted (at the plate) because Alyssa is a great hitter."
After a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, C.B. Aycock pushed across a run in the ninth. Senior catcher Rusti Talton laced a one-out double into the left center-field gap. Heather Farmer replaced Talton at second base and remained there when senior Shelly Lancaster flew out to center field.
Jasmine Dobbin collected the Golden Falcons' fourth hit, a game-winning RBI single up the middle to score Farmer.
"They got the big hit when they needed it and we didn't," said Matthews.
C.B. Aycock snapped Southern Wayne's seven-game win streak and claimed its 11th straight win in the series since the ECC's inception in 2001-02. The Golden Falcons have prevailed in 54 of their last 57 regular-season league contests since 2003.
"It was just a tremendous ball game on both parts," said Aycock head coach David West.
The highly-anticipated matchup didn't disappoint the standing-room-only crowd. Lancaster and counterpart Lauren Darden, the county's top two hurlers, staged an awesome fight in the pitcher's circle.
Lancaster (4-3) retired 11 consecutive batters before giving up a sixth-inning walk to Jordan Hill. The senior right-hander scattered three hits and issued two free passes to the Saints, who weren't selective at the plate during some at-bats.
Darden, a sophomore right-hander, constantly threw off-speed pitches throughout the extra-inning affair and fanned 12 Golden Falcon batters. She didn't allow a base runner until the third inning. C.B. Aycock didn't have a runner reach third until Farmer touched it on her way toward the plate on Dobbin's game-winning hit.
"Our hitting ... we're on and off again," said West, whose team posted its fourth ECC shutout of the season. "To get four hits off Darden is a big accomplishment. Right now, both of our pitchers are pitching at the top of their game."
Smith, Talton, Dobbin and Stevie Savage each supplied one hit for the Golden Falcons. Lynn Grantham, Rachel Reynolds and Morgan Davis provided one hit apiece for the Saints.
The two rivals begin second-half ECC play on Thursday. C.B. Aycock travels to Wilson Beddingfield, while Southern Wayne entertains county rival Eastern Wayne. Both games begin at 5 p.m.
C.B. Aycock 000 000 001 -- 1 4 0
So. Wayne 000 000 000 -- 0 3 1
Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Leigh Smith 1-for-4; Rusti Talton 1-4, 2B; Jasmine Dobbin 1-3, RBI; Stevie Savage 1-for-3. Southern Wayne -- Lynn Grantham 1-4; Rachel Reynolds 1-3; Morgan Davis 1-3.
LOB -- C.B. Aycock 6, So. Wayne 4. SH -- J. Lancaster, Lofton.
IP H R ER BB SO
J. Lancaster (W, 4-3) 9 3 0 0 2 12
Darden (L) 9 4 1 1 2 12
WP -- J. Lancaster.
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