03/24/09 — North Lenoir tops Rosewood on softball diamond

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North Lenoir tops Rosewood on softball diamond

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 24, 2009 1:46 PM

North Lenoir played with aggression.

Rosewood didn't.

Kendale Letchworth delivered three hits and four RBI as the Hawks invaded the Eagles' nest and claimed an 8-2, non-conference softball victory Monday afternoon. A perennial 2-A power, North Lenoir evened its worksheet to 2-2 against Wayne County opposition this season.

The Hawks finished with 14 hits.

"Our last game, we swung the bats well and I was hoping we'd continue to swing them and we did," said North Lenoir head coach Heather Carson. "I was real pleased with that. We played from the first inning all the way through (today).

"That is something we've focused on doing, especially from our last game."

The Eagles manufactured just four hits against Hawks left-hander Aaryn Deal, who recorded seven strikeouts and threw 100 pitches in five-plus innings.

A junior, Deal didn't overpower Rosewood's hitters, but effectively moved the ball around the plate. She kept the Eagles guessing with a drop curve and fastball, and mixed in her changeup on occasion.

Rosewood (3-2 overall) hit into eight groundouts and popped out twice in foul territory against Deal.

"We've worked really hard the past week and a half on hitting, especially our mechanics," said second-year Eagles head coach Tracie Meadows. "I don't think we went to the plate as focused and determined as we needed to be. We've got to go up there knowing 'I'm going to hit the ball' and that is something we just did not do."

The Eagles collected runs off wild pitches in the third and sixth innings. They left six runners on base, including three in scoring position.

"We'll take everything that we can get," said Meadows. "We'll take the ones one those wild pitches, but I'd like to take some (runs) by getting good hits and making something happen at the plate."

Rosewood just missed plating a fourth-inning run. Christina Bruton smacked an opposite-field triple into the gap and tried to stretch it into an inside-the-park home run.

Bruton couldn't slow down rounding third and the Hawks' shortstop fired a perfect throw to catcher Kristen Davenport. She blocked the plate and tagged Bruton for the out.

"Kristen did a good job holding onto the ball, not letting go of it," said Carson. "I think that was a big momentum stopper right there."

North Lenoir (4-4) manufactured runs in five of seven innings against Rosewood right-hander Haile Meadows. Letchworth got offensive support from Cayla Letchworth (2-for-5), Mandy Stallings (2-for-4), Davenport (2-for-4) and Courtney Barrow (2-for-4).

Meadows notched nine strikeouts and threw 120 pitches in a complete-game effort. Five of the Hawks' eight runs were earned.