Lady Falcons rollPublished 12:19pm Monday, March 19, 2012
WINDSOR – Perfect, for now.
Bertie High School’s softball team upped their record to 6-0 on the young season and a 2-0 start in Northeastern Coastal Conference play with their 4-0 whitewash of Pasquotank Friday at home.
Senior right-hander Caroline White went all the way and recorded 14 strikeouts, including retiring 19 of the last 20 batters she faced to pick up the shutout.
At the dish, Tori Dunlow went 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs.
Teammate Brooke Bowen went 1-for-3 and scored two runs. White and Ashley Harmon also went 1-for-3 while Haley Williams got the other hit for the Lady Falcons.
“There’s not much to say about Caroline, except that she’s a senior and this is her year,” said Bertie coach Jackie Copeland. “If we can keep her injury-free, she’s going to do her job.”
Copeland credits White’s pitching coach, Amy Gardner, with helping develop several new, different, and effective pitches in her repertoire for her fourth season with the Lady Falcons.
“She’s always going to (her) every weekend,” added Copeland. “She’s improved on her game, including her hitting, and her attitude has been wonderful.”
White surrendered just two hits on the afternoon: a dribbler off the stick of the first batter she faced and a hot-shot in the fourth inning just off the glove of second baseman Lauren Dunlow. Sandwiched in between were five three-up-and-three-down innings.
No Pasquotank (3-3, 01, NEC) runner ever reached second base.
“We were a lot more focused today,” said Copeland.
In the top of the first inning Pasquotank’s Taylor Ventura beat out a slow rolling bunt down the third base line, but was erased at second one batter later on a fielder’s choice. White then got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
Bertie got a runner in scoring position in their half of the first, but couldn’t capitalize.
The Falcons finally broke through in the bottom of the third. Morgan Howell walked and advanced all the way to third when Bowen picked up the first Bertie hit of the game – a double into left field - that moved both runners into scoring position.
Tori Dunlow then delivered a line shot to right field that brought in Howell and Bowen for a 2-0 Bertie lead, but she was thrown out trying to stretch it into a two-base hit.
Caroline White and Williams followed with base hits to give Bertie four safeties in a row, but Panthers hurler Samantha Harrell struck out the next two batters and prevented further scoring.
Bertie struck again for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Bowen got the first run on a one-out bases-loaded single by Harmon, and Caroline White scored when Kelsey White drew a walk with the bases again juiced.
Caroline White then struck out the next six batters in two quick innings for the Bertie win.
“She has an awesome changeup,” said Pasquotank coach Krista Horn, shaking her head, “and that killed us because we couldn’t catch up to it. And all those strikeouts? You have to get the bat on the ball.”
“I’m always about improving our game as a team,” said Copeland, “and not as individuals.”
Bertie plays its next two games on the road this week – at Northeastern today (Tuesday) with a visit to Currituck on Friday.