06/05/11 — Three-time state champ East Surry eliminates Princeton

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Three-time state champ East Surry eliminates Princeton

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 5, 2011 1:51 AM

RALEIGH -- Princeton had its chances.

East Surry made sure the Bulldawgs could not capitalize.

The Cardinals scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth inning and held on for a 2-1 win in semifinal-round play of the 2011 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A softball final four at Walnut Creek on Saturday morning.

"We had base runners in every inning but we just couldn't come up with the one hit to put us over the hump," said Princeton head coach Terry Braswell. "East Surry's pitcher did a good job of getting out of some tough spots."

The Cardinals scored a run in the second inning when Julie Bullington reached on an error and Kelsey Wilson followed with a sacrifice bunt. A second Bulldawg error allowed Bullington to score all the way from first base.

Princeton tied the game in the top of the fourth inning.

Savanna Massengill led off with a single, advanced into scoring position on a groundout by Nicole Melvin and scored on a single by Tori Paul.

"That was the one time that we were able to put a few hits together and really put some pressure on them defensively," said Braswell. "We gave ourselves a chance to even the score and make it a new ballgame."

East Surry immediately answered.

Evelynne Wells led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and advanced on a productive groundout by Bullington. Wilson followed with a base hit that put the Cardinals ahead for good at 2-1.

Beth Ivory tossed a complete game in the pitcher's circle to earn the victory. The tough right hander struck out eight batters and allowed four hits.

Traci Bridgers suffered the loss for the Dawgs, despite throwing six innings and striking out eight batters.

"We have really ridden Traci for four years," said Braswell. "She is such a competitor and she knows how to dig deep when the time comes. Today she pitched well. We just made a few mistakes behind her and didn't hit it like we are capable of."

It was the final game for Bridgers, the lone senior on Princeton's team.