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Falcons win bracket

WINTERVILLE – The Lady Falcons completed a clean sweep.

Bertie High School defeated Manteo 3-0 here Tuesday afternoon and completed a sweep of their bracket, claiming first place hardware in a softball division that also included Croatan and J.H. Rose.

“It’s wonderful,” Bertie senior Abby Parker said of the championship.

“Awesome,” added classmate Carla Cooper.

Fellow senior Brittany Hoggard called the title “great” while Megan Cowan said she was excited to win the tournament bracket.

The Falcons got only three runs on the afternoon, all coming in the third stanza, but that was enough for the victory.

Both teams had opportunities to score that came up short.

Bertie’s first chance came in the top of the first frame when Jody Mizelle led off with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice by Parker.

She advanced to third on a groundout by Courtney Dunlow, but was left stranded.

The Lady Redskins got a quick baserunner when Terra Osmon singled on the infield in the bottom of the first. That threat was quelled when Cooper, a senior catcher, gunned her down when she was attempting to steal second.

BHS finally got on the board in the top of the third inning.

Kellie Cummings led off the inning with a double to center and then moved to third when Holly Cowand ripped a single into right field. Both runners scored when Mizelle delivered a shot to right. Mizelle herself rounded third, got caught in a rundown and slid in under the tag at home to complete the three-run homer.

After one out, the Dunlow and Christie Brown drew back-to-back walks, but the Lady Falcons couldn’t get another run home.

The Redskins threatened to come right back in the bottom of the same inning when Amy Berry and Osmond had singles to put runners on first and second.

Berry was erased on a fielder’s choice at third, leaving runners at first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball, but the inning ended on a strikeout.

Manteo put two runners on again in the fourth frame when Lucy Brown singled and Ashley Maher walked, but a flyout and a strikeout ended the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Lady Falcons advanced a runner to third when Brown reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a sacrifice by Hoggard. A fly out ended the inning.

Cowan then stepped up for the Lady Falcons and sat down six straight batters to preserve the win for Bertie.

“We’ve been working on base running during practice in the past few weeks and that certainly came alive today,” Bertie skipper Jackie Copeland said. “Jody Mizelle did a great job running the bases and sliding in under the tag to get us that extra run.

“Kellie Cummings’ double and Holly Cowand’s base hit were key for us,” she added. “Having the eight and nine batters set the table and then the top of the order deliver like Jody did gave us a big lift.”

Copeland said she was pleased to take home the hardware for the tournament.

“I don’t really know how to explain what I feel inside except to say I’m happy for my team and especially for my four seniors,” she closed.

The Falcons improved to 16-1 overall on the season with the three wins in the tournament. They will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to meet Pasquotank County High School.