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Softball: Lady Falcons top HCHS

AHOSKIE – Both teams kept doing what they have been all season.

Bertie High School’s varsity softball team posted win number 11 on the season here Friday while the Lady Bears of Hertford County continued their steady improvement in a 7-0 win for the Falcons.

While Lady Falcon ace Megan Cowan was busy mowing down Hertford County batters, HCHS right-hander Amber Matthews kept Bertie guessing all day.

Bertie scored three runs in the first frame and the same in the third stanza, but HCHS played well defensively to keep the Northeastern Coastal Conference’s number two team in check.

The Lady Falcons did get started in the first inning thanks to a leadoff single by Jody Mizelle. She promptly stole second and moved to third on senior Abby Parker’s sacrifice bunt. Mizelle scored when Christie Brown reached on an error.

Cowan’s RBI-single sent Brown home and moved Brown to third. Brown then came home on Brittany Hoggard’s RBI-single to left.

The final run of the inning came when Cowan raced home on senior Carla Cooper’s single to right-center, giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead.

Neither team threatened again until the top of the third frame.

Brown reached on an error for the second time before Cowan hit a homerun to centerfield to make it 5-0.

Hoggard and Cooper delivered back-to-back singles to keep the inning going for the Falcons and Hoggard scored when Kelly Cummings reached on an error.

The Hertford County defense stiffened at that point and held those two runners on base while recording three consecutive outs, leaving the score 6-0.

Hertford County threatened in the bottom of the third when Wakita Mizelle singled and went to second on a sacrifice by Chelsie Malone. Cowan struck out the next two batters to quell the threat.

The Lady Falcons got a two-out base hit from Cowan in the top of the fourth frame, but she was left stranded after a flyout.

Neither team managed a threat in the fifth inning as both sides were retired in order.

BHS got their final run of the contest in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Parker reached on an error and went to second on a base hit by Courtney Dunlow.

Parker advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on Cowan’s sacrifice fly.

Hertford County threatened again in the bottom of the sixth when Malone led off with a single to center and went to second when Bardreda Williams reached on an error. The next three batters hit into flyouts to end the inning.

Neither team produced a base runner in the seventh inning.

“We hit the ball well and fielded it well,” BHS sophomore Christie Brown said afterwards. “Amber looked good on her changeup.”

Classmate Holly Cowand said she was pleased with the way her team stayed focused.

“We stayed up the whole game and that’s important for us to be successful,” she said.

Cowan struck out 10 while allowing just two hits on the afternoon. Matthews countered with four K’s on the afternoon.

“Jody got us started with that single and Abby laid down a good sacrifice,” Bertie Head Coach Jackie Copeland said. “That gave us a good jump start.

“Amber Matthews did a good job with her changeup,” she continued. “I wish her and Hertford County well through the rest of the season.”

Copeland also said she was focused on the second trip through the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

“I’m glad to be finished with our first round through the conference,” she said. “We are eager to get started in the second round.”