06/04/12 — Burroughs takes home MVP award

View Archive

Burroughs takes home MVP award

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 4, 2012 1:48 PM

RALEIGH -- Brad Matthews had that gut feeling.

He just knew Meredith Burroughs would see some quality pitches in the decisive third game against Fred T. Foard on Sunday afternoon.

Boy, did she.

The sophomore smacked two home runs to the delight of a standing-room-only Charles B. Aycock crowd and received further roars of approval when she was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A state softball championship series.

A two-year varsity starter, Burroughs helped the Golden Falcons throttle the Tigers 7-2 and claim their first-ever state championship in program history.

Humbled and surprised, Burroughs wiped a small bead of sweat that had dropped onto the plaque while it gleamed in the bright sun.

"It's a blessing," she said. "(I) couldn't ask for anything more. It's just great."

The Golden Falcons' first baseman matched the state's single-season home run record of 19 set by Dallas Heaton of Eastern Randolph and Sarah Mooney of North Mecklenburg a year ago. Burroughs batted 4-for-7 with six RBI, scored three runs, walked twice and recorded 20 total bases during the three-game set against Foard.

She proved to be a tough out for Foard right-hander Lexi Shubert.

During her first at-bat, Burroughs watched Shubert's first pitch just miss the corner and land in the glove of catcher Mackenzie Dziendziel, who tried to frame it for the umpire. The second offering, a rise ball, floated into the zone and Burroughs slapped it over the right-field pitch.

"Bye bye ball," one Aycock fan yelled.

Confident with adrenaline flowing through her veins, Burroughs took two strikes during her second plate appearance. The third pitch was a rise ball high and outside, Burroughs extended her hands and deposited it over the left-field fence.

They were Burroughs' fourth and fifth home runs in the playoffs.

"She just made two great swings on balls and you've just got to tip your hat to her," Foard head coach David Shubert said. "I really feel like Lexi pitched a lot better today than yesterday, the score just doesn't show it."

Burroughs walked on five pitches during her final at-bat in the fourth inning after an outfield error pushed Aycock's advantage to 7-0. She emerged the lone Golden Falcon batter to have a pair of multi-hit outings against Shubert, who entered the state finals with a miniscule 0.28 earned run average.

"I woke up this morning and had a feeling that Meredith was going to have a big day," CBA head coach Brad Matthews said.

He wasn't wrong.