05/31/09 — Golden Falcons refocus after rain delay

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Golden Falcons refocus after rain delay

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 31, 2009 2:00 AM

PIKEVILLE -- Time to book a trip to the "Creek."

Charles B. Aycock upset No. 1-ranked D.H. Conley 6-2 and earned a berth in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A softball final four at Walnut Creek next weekend.

The No. 5-ranked Golden Falcons (25-2 overall) oppose Erwin Triton for the eastern regional championship.

"I am so proud of these girls for getting to this point," said Golden Falcons head coach Brad Matthews. "This is where we wanted to be when the season began and they decided their goal was to play for a championship."

Aycock certainly worked for it.

The once-beaten Vikings tallied a first-inning run on a wild pitch.

Lightning halted play in the third inning with the score 1-0.

"We went into the gym when it started raining and we had a little 'come to Jesus' meeting," said C.B. Aycock second baseman Torie Benton. "We talked things out and I think we all knew that we had to start hitting the ball."

The Golden Falcons came back a different team.

After the 35-minute delay, Aycock starting swinging the sticks. Cara Frederick led off with a single and Amber Baker reached on an error. Brooke Bell executed a sacrifice bunt and Benton tied the game with an RBI single.

Cynthia Burroughs smacked a two-RBI triple into the left corner. One batter later, catcher Anna Sullivan slapped a two-run homer. It was Sullivan's third home run in the last two games.

"Anna is a competitor, and she is always focused on what's coming next," said Matthews. "She has came through with some huge hits during the playoffs and tonight was no exception."

Autumn Pittman continued the hit parade with a single. Connor Davis singles and Frederick capped the six-run uprising with an RBI hit to score Pittman. Davis was thrown at third to end the inning.

But the damage was done.

"I told the girls during the break that there was no reason to let that one run bother us," said Matthews. "You have to hit the ball if you are going to win at this point in the season and we finally started finding holes after the rain."

The Vikings attempted a sixth-inning comeback. Katie Gould walked, Kaitlyn Anderson single and Sarah Christian reached on an error. Gould scored on the miscue to close the gap to 6-2.

Burroughs settled down in the pitcher's circle and retired three of the final four batters by strikeout.

"Cynthia's experience in playoff games has been really big for us," said Matthews. "I wanted to get some work for Autumn, but Cynthia was into it and there was no way she was coming out."