04/23/09 — So. Wayne snaps losing skid

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So. Wayne snaps losing skid

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 23, 2009 1:46 PM

DUDLEY -- Mired in a five-game losing slump, Southern Wayne finally broke out of its shell on a blustery Wednesday afternoon.

The Saints used a much-needed, fifth-inning uprising to dump South Lenoir 6-1 in a non-conference affair. Southern Wayne (9-8 overall) claimed just its second victory in its last eight outings.

"We looked like a totally different team out there today," said second-year Saints head coach Michael Wiggs. "Maybe we have come out of our shell. We needed that game ... helps our confidence and gets us back on the right page."

The Blue Devils (9-5) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening inning on a passed ball. The Saints answered during their first at-bat when senior infielder Tara Hirsch plated Madison Davis with an RBI double.

South Lenoir didn't threaten again.

Saints right-hander Lauren Darden held the Blue Devils scoreless the final six innings and permitted three hits in a complete-game effort. The Mount Olive College signee logged six strikeouts, giving her 161 for the season and 827 for her career.

Tied at 1-1 through 41/2 innings, Southern Wayne erupted in the fifth inning. Davis drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and trotted home on Hirsch's triple -- her second RBI extra-base hit of the game.

Hirsch eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1. Morgan Davis continued the rally with a walk and moved into scoring position on Christina Williams' double.

Darden helped her cause with a two-RBI double to make it 5-1.

The four-hit outburst pleased Wiggs.

"It made me feel good for the girls' sakes because they have been struggling at the plate," said Wiggs. "I think our approach had been when we go to the plate, we're thinking about 'we're struggling.'

"But I knew some of us were one hit away from breaking out of a slump. We haven't been a great-hitting team all year long. Some of the balls we've hit right at them haven't been with a lot of authority.

"These losses lately have been on their minds and my mind, too."

Darden scored on a wild pitch to cap the game-clinching rally.

Hirsch and Darden combined for three extra-base hits and four RBI in seven official plate appearances. Jordan Coor added a hit along with freshman Madison Davis and Williams.

Southern Wayne returns to action Friday at Kinston.