Davis, Shingleton ignite CBA's game-winning rally
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2011 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- The two-year wait is over.
Charles B. Aycock is back where it belongs -- in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference softball tournament championship game.
Connor Davis scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch, and the Golden Falcons slipped past Triton, 3-2, in eight innings on Tuesday evening. Aycock (20-4 overall) returns to action Thursday at regular-season co-champion South Johnston.
The winner earns the league's automatic bid to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin May 17.
"I think my girls are ready, I really do," said Golden Falcons head coach Brad Matthews. "We want to be a number one seed and I think my girls have been looking forward to this for a right good while. We want to go over there and take care of business."
Triton nearly spoiled Aycock's title-game bid.
Golden Falcons right-hander Brooke Bell limited the third-seeded Hawks to two hits and allowed just three base runners through five innings. Triton's batters found their timing in the sixth and pulled within 2-1 on Kendall Tart's RBI single to left field.
Kerri Roberts' lead-off, solo home run in the seventh knotted the contest at 2-2.
"They're a good-hitting team and they score runs in a hurry, and that's what was worrying me," said Matthews. "We were doing really good to start with, then they started getting a couple of hits here and there. They made some adjustments."
Aycock put two runners on board during its seventh-inning at-bat, but left them stranded on an inning-ending groundout. Bell turned Triton away in the eighth inning on a line-drive shot to Davis and back-to-back strikeouts.
Davis (2-for-3) ripped a low liner down the right-field line that deflected off Tart at first base. Davis swiped second base for her third steal of the night, and took third base on Ashley Shingleton's two-strike, fielder's choice bunt.
Reagan Herndon (2-for-3, 2 RBI) stepped into the box and Ashley Ennis' first pitch bounced into the dirt. The ball deflected off catcher Jennifer Darling and rolled toward the Aycock dugout.
Ennis caught the ball from Darling and Davis slid safely under the tag. Ennis, in disgust, threw the ball to the ground and slung her glove toward the Hawks' dugout as she said a few choice words about the play.
Herndon plated Davis in the second and fourth innings after Davis reached base on a bunt single and base hit, respectively. Davis stole second base each time to set up Herndon's two-RBI night.
"Connor and Reagan did outstanding," said Matthews. "They got on base and Ashley had some big at-bats. They might not have been hits, but she got the runners over when she had to. That was big because we got a couple of runs out of that."
Bell picked up her 17th win inside the circle. The right-hander scattered five hits and logged five strikeouts in a complete-game effort.