NEA remains in 2nd place

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2006

AHOSKIE – If a win is indeed a win, Northeast Academy skipper Joella Brown left Ridgecroft School happy yesterday.

A win is about all either team could hope for after both squads got off to a sluggish start after a 10-day layoff for the Easter break.

The Lady Eagles held a tenuous 3-0 lead after four innings but used three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to secure a 10-0 win and keep pace inside the Tarheel Independent Conference.

Leading by three, LeAnn Barnes led off the top of the fifth with a single on the infield. She took second on a wild pitch and remained there when Laura Boone received a free pass.

Lyndal Brown hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Barnes, but wild pitches sent Boone home and moved Brown to third. Lindsey Bridgers walked as did Betty Edwards, again loading the bases.

A bases-loaded walk to Samantha Cook sent Brown home and Allyson Cashwell (a courtesy runner for Bridgers) scored when Ashley Ricks was hit by a pitch to make it 6-0.

Ridgecroft threatened in the home half of the fifth when they got two runners aboard, but Brown made three plays in a row to retire the side and preserve the lead.

Lori Coggins opened the top of the sixth stanza with a free pass before Barnes singled to left. Boone delivered a single to right, scoring both runners and took second on an error.

Brown reached via an error that sent Boone home, stole second and third and then scored on a Bridgers’ RBI-single to left.

The Lady Rams loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth when Emily Cooke received a free pass, Tayler Smith singled and Lauren Lilley drew a walk. A line drive off the bat of Jessica Bolton was snagged by Ricks to keep the Rams off the board and preserve the Northeast win.

The Eagles scored their first run in the second when Bridgers walked. Cashwell, again the courtesy runner, took second and third on wild pitches and scored the same way to make it 1-0.

In the top of the third, a hit batter, four walks and six wild pitches helped Northeast score two runs. Those came from Barnes and Boone to establish the 3-0 lead.

Barnes was the top batsman for the day, checking in a 2-for-2. Boone and Bridgers had the other hits for Northeast Academy.

Ridgecroft had three hits. They came off the bats of Keli Martin, Whitney Liverman and Stephanie Northcott.

The win boosted Northeast to 11-2 on the season and 8-2 in the TIC. Ridgecroft dropped to 7-7 and 6-6.