C.B. Aycock stuns South Central
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 10, 2009 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Brad Matthews stared in disbelief.
Defending state 3-A softball champion South Central erupted for six runs during its first three at-bats Thursday afternoon. Charles B. Aycock, over that same stretch, had six batters return to the dugout as strikeout victims.
"I told them to go up there, be aggressive and if you get two strikes, open your stance," said Matthews. "Two out of three batters struck out (each time). I thought 'here we go.' Then somebody flipped the switch on.
"It was unreal. I'm still in shock."
The outcome certainly stunned the visiting Falcons.
Connor Davis' extra-base, RBI hit and Brooke Bell's sacrifice squeeze propelled the Golden Falcons to a come-from-behind 8-6 victory. Aycock (12-1 overall) swept the regular-season series from South Central and extended its win streak to eight games.
Ranked No. 2 statewide, the Falcons touched right-hander Cynthia Burroughs for six runs (four earned) on six hits. Burroughs relinquished the pitching rubber to Autumn Pittman, who tossed four innings of four-hit scoreless relief.
"That was a huge confidence builder for Autumn," said Matthews.
Meanwhile, Falcon hurler Caitlin Wainwright surrendered single runs in the third and fifth innings. She posted just two strikeouts in the final four innings and eventually permitted four unearned runs on three errors.
Trailing 6-2 and getting encouragement from Matthews after each half inning, Aycock exploded in the sixth.
South Central's center fielder dropped Burroughs' fly ball and Burroughs moved into scoring position on Pittman's single. Anna Sullivan reached on an infield error and Burroughs scored to trim the Falcons' advantage in half -- 6-3.
Rachel Jordan walked to load the bases. Cara Frederick cranked out her only hit of the day, a two-RBI double that caromed off the fence in right center field. Wainwright couldn't escape trouble and faced another bases-loaded situation when Emma Baker reached safely on a fielder's choice bunt.
Davis, who came off the bench, provided the go-ahead hit -- a two-RBI single to left center field. Bell followed with her squeeze-bunt sacrifice to score Baker and cap the stirring comeback.
"Their backs were against the wall and they came out swinging," said Matthews of the sixth-inning uprising.
South Central started the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Davis retired one batter on an infield pop-up. Pittman (6-0) coaxed the Falcons into consecutive flyouts to end the game.
Davis finished 2-for-2 offensively. Bell (two RBI), Burroughs and Pittman contributed one hit apiece.
"I was hard on them the whole game," said Matthews. "We took it easy in practice (this week) and I'll take the blame for the sluggish start. I knew this team could come back, but I didn't think we'd do it with the way we were playing.
"I'm still trying to figure it out (how we won)."
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