04/23/13 — Aycock rallies late, wins pivotal ECC softball game

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Aycock rallies late, wins pivotal ECC softball game

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 23, 2013 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- No matter how cold it got or how hard it rained, Charles B. Aycock was not about to go away.

Not with an Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championship still up for grabs.

The Golden Falcons rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and hung on for a 5-3 win over South Johnston on Monday evening. The win keeps Aycock in the hunt for the ECC regular-season title.

"I was proud of the kids that they didn't lay down," Golden Falcons' head coach Laura Romo said. "We got down 2-0 and we were struggling with our bats and we could have very easily folded up our tents and gone home. But, we didn't."

The Trojans grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on Krista Collins' two-run double.

After squandering a couple of early scoring opportunities, Aycock (11-7 overall, 9-2 ECC) got on the scoreboard on Katie Gay's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

South Johnston (13-5, 8-2) tacked on a run on a pair of Golden Falcons' errors in the top of the fifth inning, but wouldn't score again. It stranded runners at second and third base in each of the final three innings.

The Trojans left 10 runners on base for the game.

After struggling to hit Trojans' starting pitcher Lauren Higgins' steady diet of off-speed pitches, Aycock's bats finally awoke in the sixth inning.

Madison Walton ignited the rally with a lead-off double. Following Reagan Herndon's sacrifice bunt, Cierra Harris' RBI single pulled the Golden Falcons to within 3-2.

Keely Fulgham's RBI single and a South Johnston error allowed two runs to score. Fulgham later scored from third as part of a double-steal to increase Aycock's lead to 5-3.

"I think seeing (Wiggins) one more time through the lineup helped," Golden Falcons' assistant coach Emily Jordan said. "We've seen a lot of different pitching and it has been a while since we've seen her. I think the third time through we saw how the ball was spinning.

"We picked up that she was throwing off-speed and the girls put it together."

South Johnston threatened in the top of the seventh inning with runners on second and third base and two outs before Meredith Burroughs struck out Anna Webster to end the ballgame. Burroughs surrendered three runs (two earned) on nine hits, struck out five and walked four in a complete-game victory.

The Golden Falcons complete their ECC regular-season schedule at home Thursday against Southern Wayne.