04/22/09 — Bridgers tosses two-hitter

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Bridgers tosses two-hitter

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 22, 2009 1:46 PM

Hit to keep up with them.

Second-year Rosewood head coach Tracie Meadows encouraged her team to do that Tuesday evening against archrival Princeton on the softball diamond.

But the Eagles couldn't solve pitcher Traci Bridgers.

Throwing around the mid to upper 50s, Bridgers permitted two hits and posted 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory on the Carolina 1-A Conference scene. The loss knocked Rosewood (7-3 overall) from the unbeaten ranks in league play.

"(Bridgers) is a little more speed than we've seen yet (this season), but still not unhittable," said Meadows. "All we had to do was make contact with it. We needed to be more disciplined at the plate, not swinging at stuff in our eyes. If we had been more disciplined, we would have had more base runners."

Bridgers threw 21 first-pitch strikes to 25 batters she faced and notched at least one strikeout against seven of nine Eagle starters. The right-hander logged 86 pitches, including 65 strikes, in the seven-inning affair.

Rosewood infielders Jennifer Hall and Megan Tyndall collected one hit apiece. Paige Babb drew a fifth-inning walk and Kayla Ormond reached on an sixth-inning error.

Bridgers did not allow a runner past second base.

"Traci did a great job," said Princeton head coach Terry Braswell. "She moved the ball around real well and kept them on their toes. That seemed to work real well."

Bridgers coaxed the Eagles (7-3 overall, 2-1 CC) into four groundouts, three infield pop-ups and permitted just five balls to reach the outfield.

"Once we got runners on, it was usually two outs and we couldn't make anything happen," said Meadows. "Once we get behind one or two runs, if we're not hitting consistently, we can't keep up. Even if our defense is good, we've got to be able to keep up and hit with teams and I've said that all along."

Princeton (6-5, 3-1) scratched for single runs in the second and fifth innings. Bridgers reached base on a fielder's choice strikeout, advanced to second on a wild pitch and trotted home on Rebecca Harlan's bloop single down the right-field line.

After coming up empty with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, the Dawgs got a defensive break in the fifth. Hannah Wood reached on an infield error and moved into scoring position on Amber Wood's sacrifice bunt.

Rosewood hurler Haile Meadows surrendered a wild pitch and Hannah scored on Ashley Braswell's sacrifice fly to center field. Meadows retired six of the final seven batters she faced and yielded two unearned runs on three hits in a complete-game effort.

"That was big," said coach Meadows of Braswell's sac fly.

The teams endured a 15-minute rain delay with one out in the seventh inning. Once play resumed, Bridgers needed just five pitches to finish off the Eagles.