05/19/10 — Aycock dumps Cougars

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Aycock dumps Cougars

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 19, 2010 1:47 PM

BOILING SPRINGS LAKE -- The slow-pitch strategy worked for three innings.

Once Charles B. Aycock found its hitting rhythm, South Brunswick's bullpen was no match for the perennial 3-A softball powerhouse.

Cara Frederick cranked out three hits and supplied four RBI, and the Golden Falcons hammered the Cougars 12-2 in opening-round action of the 2010 N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs on Tuesday evening.

Aycock (14-9 overall) travels to either D.H. Conley or Southern Nash in second-round action Friday.

"It was a big win for us," said Golden Falcons coach Brad Matthews.

The Golden Falcons snapped a three-game skid and are 5-5 in their last 10 outings since a home victory over North Lenoir on Apr. 16.

Winning pitcher Autumn Pittman delivered two hits and two RBI, while second baseman Connor Davis batted 2-for-3 with two RBI. Pittman increased her team- and county-leading RBI total to 28 this season.

Seven of nine starters contributed at least one single in Aycock's 13-hit attack. Reagan Herndon and Amber Rose contributed one hit apiece off the bench.

"I think, after that last game, we had some momentum going into tonight," said Matthews of a heart-breaking 5-4 loss to South Johnston six days ago. "I think we played well for the most part. I think they had heard that we couldn't hit slow pitching and it looked like it for a little while. Then we made some adjustments and started hitting it."

South Brunswick hurler Brooke Herr retired eight of the first 10 batters she faced inside the pitcher's circle. The right-hander induced six ground balls, recorded one strikeout and yielded a bunt single to Frederick.

Herr wasn't as fortunate in the fourth.

Sara Beth Marquis drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on Rachel Jordan's single down the third-base line. With two outs, Frederick stroked a triple into the power alley to put Aycock ahead 2-0.

"That was what we've been needing (offensively) and she's come around for us the last couple of games," said Matthews of Frederick. "It was definitely a boost for us."

Aycock seized control with a three-run, fifth-inning uprising. Marquis stroked a two-RBI single to right field and Davis plated Marquis with a two-out base hit to the same spot.

The Golden Falcons added seven runs in the seventh.

Pittman held South Brunswick (9-14) scoreless through five innings. The senior right-hander yielded three hits before giving up two runs (one earned) in the sixth inning on three hits.

A Barton College signee, Pittman finished with a seven-hitter and logged nine strikeouts in the pitcher's circle. It was Pittman's fifth complete game and sixth mound victory over the season overall in 17 appearances.

"Autumn was on tonight, hitting every spot," said Matthews. "When you pitch like that and play defense, you're going to win ballgames."

The Golden Falcons, the reigning 3-A eastern champions, picked up their 52nd playoff victory in program history since 1988.