04/24/09 — Davis' sixth-inning single fuels C.B. Aycock's rally

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Davis' sixth-inning single fuels C.B. Aycock's rally

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

PIKEVILLE -- Connor Davis wanted one more chance.

And the freshman delivered.

Hitless in her previous two at-bats, Davis fueled a sixth-inning uprising with a game-winning base knock as Charles B. Aycock stopped perennial powerhouse Triton 3-0 in non-conference softball action Thursday evening.

"I told them before the (sixth inning) to say 'I'm the best hitter in the world' five times and go up there with confidence,'' said second-year Aycock coach Brad Matthews. "We struggled early, but didn't get our heads down. When somebody steps up and gets a hit, everybody starts hitting. It is definitely contagious."

Aycock caught the bug at the right time.

Deadlocked in a scoreless battle through 5 1/2 innings, Autumn Pittman drilled a hard-hit, two-out grounder off Hawks second baseman Andie Faircloth. Anna Sullivan drew a walk and Rachel Jordan loaded the bases with an infield hit that died just inches in front of the plate.

Davis, frustrated by a bunt strikeout and infield pop-up, patiently worked Triton right-hander Candice Faircloth to a 2-2 count. Anticipating a change-up, Davis poked an outside, off-speed pitch up the middle to score Pittman and courtesy runner Shamyka Polite.

"Connor didn't look like a freshman tonight," said Matthews.

The Golden Falcons (16-1 overall) lived in the land of missed opportunities before Davis' game-clinching single. Faircloth allowed just five base runners in the first five innings and kept Aycock hitless (0-for-7) with runners in scoring position.

Polite attempted to score on a fifth-inning wild pitch, but was gunned down at the plate.

"You can't expect a hit every time, but you have to stay focused and get your job done," said Matthews. "There were a few times we didn't get the bunts down like we needed to, and I was a little disappointed.

"But we came back and hit the ball at the right time."

Aycock's late-inning comeback certainly didn't overshadow a superb pitching effort by Pittman. The junior right-hander tossed her first complete game of the season and limited Triton to six hits.

Pittman (9-0) threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 26 batters she faced and retired 13 of the final 15 hitters of the seven-inning affair. The first-year varsity starter, who overcame a 27-pitch first inning, logged 63 strikes on 83 pitches.

"Unbelievable ... an outstanding game," said Matthews of Pittman. "Her curveball wasn't working, so she was beating them on fastballs and placing it in the right spots. She hit every spot I called ... putting it right where I wanted it, so she made it easy to call pitches."

The Golden Falcons played error-free defense behind Pittman. Center fielder Amber Baker caught two fly balls on the fence and helped turn a third-inning double play that kept the Hawks off the board.