03/26/09 — Hawks too much for Warriors on softball diamond

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Hawks too much for Warriors on softball diamond

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 26, 2009 1:46 PM

North Lenoir proved to be too much for Eastern Wayne on the softball diamond in New Hope on Wednesday night. Each Hawk starter recorded at least one hit as the visitors captured an 11-4, non-conference win.

A slow start doomed the Warriors.

North Lenoir opened a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Cayla Letchworth doubled, Mandy Stallings singled and Kendale Letchworth followed with a double. Two batters later, Amber Best plated two runs with a single to right field.

"We were, for whatever reason, not ready to play tonight," said Eastern Wayne head coach Tony Parrish. "I ask for two hours of focus every day and today we were not ready, and I take responsibility for that."

The Hawks poured on the offense in the third inning.

Stalling led off with a double, Kendale Letchworth singled and Kristen Davenport walked. Best again delivered by ripping a ball up the middle that was misplayed and allowed two runs to score.

A four-run, fourth inning appeared to seal the victory for North Lenoir, but Parrish challenged his club to climb back into contention and avoid the 10-run mercy rule.

"One of our goals this season was to play every game to the finish," said Parrish. "I told them that we could play our way back into it. We just needed a few hits."

Lindsey Frederick answered the call by belting a ball to right field that was over run by the defender. By the time the ball stopped at the fence, Frederick had completed the inside-the-park home run. The score extended the game.

Eastern Wayne (4-5 overall, 2-0 ECC) added two additional runs in the inning when Hannah Grantham laced a hard-hit ball up the middle.

North Lenoir hurler Aaryn Deal settled down and ended the rally.

"Tonight was one of the best games Aaryn has pitched for us all season," said Hawks head coach Heather Carson. "She did a good job of throwing strikes early and that helped her gain her rhythm."

Eastern Wayne loaded the bases in the home half of the seventh inning, but failed to score as Deal retired the game's final two batters. Deal allowed three hits and struck out nine batters.

"North Lenoir is a good ball club, and tonight they played harder than we did in the first four innings," said Parrish. "But I was proud of our girls for refusing to quit. That would have been the easy thing to do."

The Warriors entertain Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Charles B. Aycock. Weather permitting, North Lenoir (5-4) is the guest of Spring Creek today.