03/23/13 — Saints get much-needed win on ECC softball scene

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Saints get much-needed win on ECC softball scene

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 23, 2013 11:22 PM

La GRANGE -- It is never too early to take a look at the big picture.

Southern Wayne head coach Michael Wiggs talked to his team before a showdown with Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival North Lenoir on Friday night. Wiggs let it be known that a loss to the Hawks would put his team's playoff chances in danger.

The Saints responded and claimed an 8-5 road win.

"We know what it is going to take to make the playoffs," Wiggs said. "Tonight wasn't really a must-win, but it was pretty close."

North Lenoir struck first when Blythe Greene scored on a passed ball in the first inning.

Southern Wayne took the lead in the fourth inning. An error, a walk and a base hit by Katie Anderson gave the Saints a 2-1 advantage.

North Lenoir tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, but could not hold on to the momentum. Southern Wayne scored the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single off the bat of Aubrey Sasser.

The Saints (6-5 overall, 2-3 ECC) broke the game open in the sixth inning.

Anderson led off with a single and Hope Jones reached on an error. Hope Rose loaded the bases with an infield single. Haley Warren singled to right field and the ball eluded the Hawks' outfielder, which allowed three runs to score.

Southern Wayne added two runs in the seventh inning and led 8-2.

"Building a lead like we did takes a lot of pressure off of our defense," Wiggs said. "We made a few errors that cost us some runs but we didn't really have to worry because we had a lead."

North Lenoir rallied in the bottom of the seventh.

Greene and Kaci Letchworth each reached on a Southern Wayne error. Liz Deal plated a run with a groundout and Roxie Stallings belted a home run that made the score 8-5.

Haley Warren got out of the jam and induced a game-ending groundout. Warren got the win in the pitcher's circle with a complete-game effort.

"Haley has been battling an arm injury and this was really her first game back," Wiggs said. "We had to have a good outing from her because our other pitcher (Morgan Best) is out with bronchitis. Haley answered the call and she did a great job."

Southern Wayne visits Southern Nash on Monday, while North Lenoir (1-6 overall, 0-5 ECC) travels to Eastern Wayne on Tuesday.