05/20/09 — Aycock earns shutout

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Aycock earns shutout

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 20, 2009 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock finally got in "game mode."

Playing just their third game in the month of May, the Golden Falcons eliminated Greensboro Dudley 6-0 from the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A softball playoffs Tuesday evening.

"We hadn't been playing in a while. We don't have that game mode right now, more of a practice mode," said Aycock head coach Brad Matthews. "I'm ready to start playing some more ballgames and I know they are, too."

The Golden Falcons (22-2 overall) continue postseason play at home Friday against defending state champion South Central. Matthews' team swept the regular-season series.

First pitch is 7 p.m.

Aycock went quietly the first two innings against Dudley right-hander Yazmine Lee. The junior threw just 15 pitches, induced two ground-ball outs and four flyouts.

"I don't think we made good adjustments at the plate early in the game," said Matthews. "That was a scrappy bunch and they made some good plays."

The Golden Falcons worked Lee in the third inning.

Cara Frederick drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on Ashley Shingleton's sacrifice bunt. Jessica Hare delivered the eventual game-winning hit, a first-pitch strike up the middle to score Frederick.

One out and one walk later, Anna Sullivan plated Hare with a run-scoring base hit down the third-base line.

Aycock left runners in scoring position in the third inning, but broke the game open in the sixth. Two Panther errors, and hits from Connor Davis and Brooke Bell spearheaded a four-run outburst.

"The score is a little deceiving since it was 2-0 most of the game," said fourth-year Dudley coach Erica Leggett. "We kept telling them after every inning, if we don't score, they don't score. Then we had a couple of errors in the sixth."

Dudley (7-12) never found an offensive rhythm.

Golden Falcon right-handers Cynthia Burroughs and Autumn Pittman combined for 13 strikeouts in the one-hit shutout. Burroughs allowed one runner to reach base and Pittman surrendered a fifth-inning single.

The Panthers stranded both runners.

"That's a credit to their pitchers," said Leggett. "They kept us off balance with inside-outside pitches and we just weren't seeing the ball."

Burroughs threw first-pitch strikes to 10 of 13 batters she faced and claimed the mound win. Pittman logged first-pitch strikes against eight of 10 batters and retired nine consecutive Dudley hitters after yielding the fifth-inning single.

Aycock triumphed for 18th time in its last 19 outings this season.

"Cynthia and Autumn did a good job and threw strikes," said Matthews, whose team played an error-free game. "They've got a good defense behind them."