Bertie edges Tigers

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2007

WINDSOR – A slow start almost proved disastrous.

Bertie High School’s varsity softball team didn’t score in the first five innings, but rallied for one mark in each of the sixth and seventh to fend off Williamston 2-1.

“We started off slowly,” Falcon Head Coach Jackie Copeland said. “I thought we were prepared, but once we got on the field, we played too lax. We waited until the fifth or sixth inning to get going.”

The Lady Falcons were down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth stanza where they got their first mark.

Jody Mizelle, the freshman shortstop, led off the inning with a double to left. Sophomore Courtney Dunlow went all the way to second when her sacrifice bunt was fielded and the ball throw to third. Mizelle beat the throw to give Bertie runners on second and third.

Christie Brown then delivered a run-scoring groundout to deadlock the game. Brittany Hoggard and Megan Cowan drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, but a fly out and a strikeout ended the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Cowan shut down the opposition when she induced a groundout, a popup and struck out the final batter.

In the home half of the seventh, senior catcher Carla Cooper started the inning with a single to left. Kelly Cummings then dropped a sacrifice bunt, which was fielded by the pitcher, who committed a throwing error.

Mizelle then reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases.

Williamston avoided allowing Bertie to score for the next two batters as both hit into fielder’s choices that erased runners at home.

Senior Brittany Hoggard, however, was not allowing her team to be denied as she laced a single to right-center field that brought Mizelle home and gave the Lady Falcons the win.

“Starting about the fifth inning, we made contact and started hitting the ball,” Copeland said. “Kelly did an exceptional job of getting the bunt down and I was pleased with the way Carla Cooper and Holly Cowand hit the ball.”

Copeland credited Williamston with doing a solid job of pitching and playing defense.

Bertie had stellar pitching with Cowan as she gave up just four hits while striking out 10 to improve to 4-0 on the season.

“Megan did a good job today,” Bertie assistant coach Jeremy Dawson said. “She pitched really well and stayed ahead in the count most of the day.”

The Falcon catcher also had a good day behind the plate as Cooper threw out Bailee Cowan after the latter had singled. Cooper also made several defensive stops and fielded a pair of bunts and made the throws.

Offensively, Cooper led the Falcons with a pair of hits in three at-bats. Mizelle, Dunlow, Hoggard and Cowand all added one hit each.

The Lady Falcons (4-0) traveled to SouthWest Edgecombe Friday afternoon for another non-conference game before heading to First Flight Tuesday at 4 p.m. for their Northeastern Coastal Conference opener.