05/24/12 — C.B. Aycock softball defeats Havelock

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C.B. Aycock softball defeats Havelock

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 24, 2012 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Brooke Bell wasn't waiting around for her offense to provide some run support.

She went out and delivered it herself.

Bell hit a first-inning solo home run and pitched a masterful complete game in Charles B. Aycock's 2-0 win over Havelock in the fourth round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A state softball playoffs Wednesday evening.

The Golden Falcons won their 24th consecutive game and have yet to be scored upon in the state playoffs. They entertain Western Alamance (25-3 overall) tonight in Game 1 of the best-of-three eastern regional championship series.

Bell led off the bottom of the first inning and drove the sixth pitch of the at-bat from Rams' starting pitcher Maryann Hoskins over the fence in left field.

"My first at-bat felt good," Bell said. "It feels good to get ahead in the game. It definitely got me motivated and it makes me want to get up there and throw strikes."

Hoskins shook off the home run by Bell and struck out eight of the next 10 Golden Falcons she faced. Aycock (27-2) didn't reach base again until Bell's two-out double in the third inning. The Golden Falcons had runners on first and second base with two outs in the fourth inning, but Hoskins got Rachel Jordan to ground out to end the inning.

Aycock's bats finally came to life in the fifth inning as Misty Edwards and Bell reached on consecutive infield singles with one out. Meredith Burroughs followed with an RBI double to right field to extend the lead to 2-0 and give Bell all the cushion she would need.

"Brooke led off with a home run and after that we struck out eight times in the first three innings," Golden Falcons' head coach Brad Matthews said. "I told my girls, 'we've got to put the bat on the ball and put pressure on the defense.' I was proud of them for coming around at the end and battling with the bats."

Taylor Forehand led off the top of the sixth inning with a single. Aycock left fielder Reagan Herndon stymied Havelock's rally with a diving catch on a ball off the bat of Abigale Clark. Bell struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

"That was a huge play," Bell said of Herndon's catch. "If she didn't catch that ball they could have scored right there. Reagan making that catch saved the game for us big time."

The Rams used an Aycock error and an infield single to put the tying runs on base with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Bell struck out pinch-hitter Shakina Dyer and got Malorie Rowe to ground out to end the ballgame.

Bell scattered four hits, tallied 13 strikeouts and did not issue a walk to earn the win.