05/03/13 — Aycock escapes on defensive error

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Aycock escapes on defensive error

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 3, 2013 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock undoubtedly proved that sometimes you need a little luck on Thursday evening.

The charm was a defensive error.

A wild, seventh-inning throw allowed the Golden Falcons to score the game-winning run and claim a 6-5, come-from-behind victory over Cleveland in semifinal-round play of the 2013 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference softball tournament.

The top-seeded Golden Falcons (13-8 overall) entertain regular-season co-champion South Johnston in the finals on Monday. First pitch is 6 p.m.

"We were not focused like we should have been to start this ballgame," CBA head coach Laura Romo said. "We got lucky and I'm not going to complain about that. We did just enough to win. Cleveland played a great ballgame, came prepared and came ready to win this game."

The Rams (11-8) nearly pulled off their second win on the Golden Falcons' diamond this season. But they couldn't protect their 5-4 lead through 5 1/2 innings of play.

Aycock junior Meredith Burroughs (4-for-4, RBI) mashed a game-tying, solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was her fifth of the season and 32nd of her career.

"We were trying to walk her, and she went out and golfed it," Cleveland coach John Wood said. "You just tip your hat and say 'way to go.' Meredith is one of the best pure power hitters I've ever coached against and I've said all year long don't let her be the one that beats me."

Cleveland went quietly in its half of the seventh and recorded two straight outs in the bottom of the inning. Aycock junior Cierra Harris (2-for-4) reached base on an infield error and stole second with Jenna Van Horn at the plate.

Harris took third on a pitch in the dirt. Van Horn put the next pitch in play, which was stopped by Brittany Bucklin. Bucklin's throw from the knees to first base deflected off of her teammate's glove and Harris slid home for the game-winning run.

"You cannot give a team like C.B. Aycock extra outs, extra swings at the plate and you run the risk of this happening," Wood said.

Burroughs retired the final eight batters she faced inside the circle and surrendered five runs (three earned) on eight hits. The right-hander logged five strikeouts for the Golden Falcons, who clinched their second straight appearance in the ECC tournament championship.

Drayton yielded six runs (five earned) on 12 hits, walked one and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings.

"It's always good when you can come out and make mistakes and learn from them, and still win," CBA assistant coach Emily Jordan said. "When you win, it's a lot easier to take them and learn from them."