05/11/13 — Fulghum's walk-off single pushes Aycock into 2nd round

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Fulghum's walk-off single pushes Aycock into 2nd round

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 11, 2013 11:14 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock's big-game experience showed up just in time.

Keeley Fulghum delivered a walk-off RBI single and the Golden Falcons rallied past West Craven 7-6 in first-round play of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A state softball playoffs Friday evening.

The defending state champions play host to Washington on Tuesday.

"You can't say we don't make it interesting," C.B. Aycock head coach Laura Romo said. "I said in about the third inning that whoever was up last was going to win because that's the way we were going."

Aycock won its fifth game of the season by two runs or less. The back-and-forth affair featured 27 hits, 33 base runners, four ties and six lead changes.

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Courtney Donnell's two-out RBI single. The Golden Falcons (14-9) answered in their half of the inning on Abbie Walton's RBI fielder's choice.

West Craven (9-11 overall) struck again in the top of the second inning with Rendi Wetherington's two-out RBI double to take a 2-1 lead. All six of the Eagles' runs came with two outs.

The Eagles' lead was short lived as Aycock took a 3-2 lead on Meredith Burroughs' two-run home run to right field. The Golden Falcons finished with 15 hits and didn't strike out once all night.

Four different Aycock players tallied at least two hits.

The Eagles scored their third run of the game with two outs on Robin Dail's RBI double in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 3-3. West Craven just missed taking the lead as Dail was thrown out at the plate on Bailey Anderson's single to end the inning.

"They're an excellent hitting team," Romo said. "You get in the playoffs and that happens. As bad as it started, going back and forth, in the end I felt like we were going to win this game. If we're within a run in the fifth, sixth or seventh inning I like our chances."

Aycock orchestrated some two-out magic of its own in the home half of the third inning. Fulghum's RBI single capped three straight two-out singles and gave the Golden Falcons a 4-3 advantage.

The Eagles pushed across three two-out runs in the top of the fourth inning. Wetherington raced home on an error to tie the game at 4-4. Back-to-back RBI singles by Courtney Donnell and Rachel Riggs gave West Craven a 6-4 lead.

Katie Gay's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning tied the game at 6-6.

Jenna Van Horn led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single and advanced to second base on the play on an Eagles' error. Fulghum's single scored Van Horn to end the game. Fulghum finished with four hits and two RBI.

"I was just trying to hit the ball backside so we could get that run in," Fulghum said. "We're not ready to quit playing. I've been in a slump lately so I was just thinking 'have fun and keep my eye on the ball.'"

Burroughs surrendered six runs (three earned) on 12 hits with five strikeouts and two walks to earn the win in the pitcher's circle.