Falcons remain unbeaten

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 16, 2007

WINDSOR – It was a big win by any standard.

When Bertie High School’s varsity softball team edged Northeastern High School 6-2 here Thursday, the win put Bertie tied atop the conference standings.

Despite being tied for the Northeastern Coastal Conference lead, however, Falcon mentor Jackie Copeland was sure to put the victory into perspective.

“It’s one win and that’s it,” she said. “It’s a big win for sure, but still just one win. We have to get back to work and prepare for the next game.”

The Falcons used a big third inning to surge into the lead.

Freshman Jody Mizelle led off the third stanza with a single right-centerfield and stole second. She came around to score on Courtney Dunlow’s RBI-single to left-centerfield.

After a pair of outs, Dunlow came around to score when senior Megan Cowan reached on a two-base error. Cowan then scored when classmate Abby Parker laced a single to left that put Bertie up 3-1.

Northeastern came right back to plate a run in the top of the fourth when Julian Berry singled to center and came around to score on Miranda Owney’s base hit.

The Lady Falcons added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth when Christie Brown led off with a triple to right. She was erased at home on a fielder’s choice with Brittany Hoggard at the plate. Hoggard went to second on the throw and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Cowan then walked and stole second before Holly Cowand reached on an error that scored both Hoggard and Cowan to make it 5-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, Bertie gave Cowan another run for cushion when Dunlow tripled with two outs and scored on Mizelle’s single to left.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cowan induced a popup and struck out two to preserve the win. In all, she registered 11 strikeouts on the afternoon and surrendered just four hits.

“I was nervous before we started,” she said afterwards. “I think I perform better under pressure though.

“In softball, the name of the game is who wants it most and today we wanted it the most,” she added.

Hoggard said she entered the game not being nervous, but confident.

“I wasn’t nervous,” she said. “I felt like we were ready to play. We practiced like crazy and I was ready.”

The Lady Falcons squandered a good opportunity in the first inning when they loaded the bases with no outs, but couldn’t get a run across.

In the second inning, Northeastern did get a mark across when Hannah Mannos reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a Hannah Chaple doubled. That gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 lead before Bertie came back in the third.

“On March 14, we spent hours and hours working on hitting and it paid off,” Copeland said after the game. “I’m proud of Megan Cowan and the way she threw the ball today and I thought the whole team did their job as I knew they could.”

Copeland also gave credit to first-year assistant coach Jeremy Dawson for making the correct calls during the game.

“I think with me and Coach Dawson working together to get the girls around the bases, we’re okay,” she said.

Offensively Dawson and Brown led the Lady Falcons as each were 2-for-3 with a triple. Mizelle, Parker and Carla Cooper were each 1-for-3.

The win kept the Lady Falcons undefeated at 7-0 overall and 2-0 inside the Northeastern Coastal Conference.