03/07/12 — C.B. Aycock opens ECC with shutout

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C.B. Aycock opens ECC with shutout

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 7, 2012 1:49 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock did it all -- hit, pitched and played defense -- in its Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference softball opener Tuesday evening.

The result?

Senior Brooke Bell threw a marvelous three-hit shutout inside the pitcher's circle and Meredith Burroughs crushed her second home run of the season during the Golden Falcons' 8-0 thrashing of the Hawks.

"Triton is always a tough team," said Bell. "We went in with the mindset that we wanted to hit the ball, we wanted to play good defense and we wanted to win this game.

"We did."

A Pitt Community College signee, Bell allowed just four base runners and logged 12 strikeouts for her first shutout of the season. The Hawks (3-1 overall, 0-1 ECC) stranded all four runners, including two in scoring position.

Bell retired 12 of the final 14 batters she faced.

"My arm was on tonight, I was there," grinned Bell. "I had all of my stuff working good, even my curveball. Triton has some very good hitters so we have to keep them off balance, which was very important tonight."

Aycock (3-1, 1-0) gave Bell all the run support she needed in the second inning. Katie Gay connected on a two-out bloop single to left field and trotted to second on Misty Edwards' infield hit.

Gay and Edwards scampered home on Taylor Bradshaw's two-strike single that dropped between three Triton defenders in shallow left center field. Bradshaw concluded the night 2-for-3, and emerged one of four Golden Falcon batters to turn in a multiple-hit performance.

"Taylor came up with two big hits for us tonight and I was very proud of the way she swung the bat," said Aycock head coach Brad Matthews. "We started out slow (offensively) and started picking it up, finally got our timing down. We were hitting the ball hard right there at the end."

Connor Davis (2-for-4) and Rachel Jordan each collected an RBI in the third inning. Burroughs (2-for-3) and senior catcher Ivy Hartzell (3-for-4) combined for three RBI in the fourth, which boosted Aycock's advantage to 7-0.

Burroughs ripped her solo shot, which landed well beyond the center-field fence, in the sixth.