03/20/12 — Rosewood tops Southern Wayne softball

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Rosewood tops Southern Wayne softball

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 20, 2012 1:50 PM

A new coach.

An aggressive attitude.

A consistent pitcher.

Rosewood has used all those intangibles to its advantage on the softball diamond this spring, and Monday afternoon was no exception.

Right-hander Amanda Beckert threw a complete-game three-hitter in a 3-1, non-conference triumph over county rival Southern Wayne. The Eagles remained unbeaten in six outings and open Carolina 1-A Conference play Friday at Ayden-Grifton.

"Our defense is playing well. Amanda's pitching, for the most part, has been what it's needed to be," first-year RHS head coach Shay Campbell said. "When we limit our errors and play good defense, we keep teams from scoring and that's been a key to (our unbeaten start). I thought Amanda pitched pretty good, but she wasn't hitting her targets the first two innings like we like to see.

"When she is on with her location and changing up speeds, I feel like she is unbeatable at that point with the defense behind her."

Beckert (6-0) threw 70 pitches, including 51 strikes. The sophomore, one of seven returning starters for the Eagles, retired 12 consecutive batters before yielding a one-out, fifth-inning single to Southern Wayne's Taylor Davis.

Southern Wayne (3-7) had just seven base runners in the game and stranded three in scoring position. Rosewood's defense wiped out two runners with a first-inning double play and committed just one error during the 81-minute affair.

"Beckert did a great job," SW head coach Michael Wiggs said. "We just didn't make any adjustments at the plate. We hit too many fly balls ... which are easy to catch. We just didn't put any pressure on their defense."

Rosewood, a playoff qualifier last season, pushed three runs across during the first two innings. Beckert led off the game with a single. Jordan Dubose, Beckert's courtesy runner, moved into scoring position when the Saints' misplayed a sacrifice bunt.

Anna Ingram plated Dubose with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Freshman Callie Thornton (2-for-3) started the Eagles' second inning with a lead-off triple. The Saints, again, misplayed a routine fielder's choice bunt which allowed Thornton and Hayley Mercer (who walked) to score.

"It's a mental game. (You) have to step on the field with the desire to win and play to win, not play hoping everything goes well for you and that's what we're struggling with right now," Wiggs said.

Saints' right-hander Madison Davis retired eight of nine batters during two-plus innings and benefited from two double plays after the Eagles seized a 3-0 lead. She scattered six hits, walked two and struck out four.

Southern Wayne denied Beckert's shutout bid on Taylor Davis' two-out, seventh-inning sacrifice fly that scored Madison Davis, who led off the inning with a double down the left-field line.