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Falcons fall 7-3

WINDSOR – Tears were flowing here Friday.

Bertie High School’s varsity softball team walked off the field with tears streaming down many cheeks. They were both happy and sad tears.

“We have no reason to hang our heads,” Head Coach Jackie Copeland told her team after suffering a 7-2 setback in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state playoffs. “We had a great season.”

Copeland stressed that same belief in her comments after the game.

“We had one bad inning,” she said. “Just like in our only other loss against Currituck. The games were eerily similar.

“We went out in style, though,” she continued. “We battled right to the end and never gave up.”

The Lady Falcons allowed five runs in the top of the second inning, coming off two walks, two errors and two hits. From that point on, they scored three of the five runs that were plated, but it wasn’t enough.

Bertie eventually trailed 7-0, but their bats came alive in the sixth and seventh innings.

Courtney Dunlow got things started with a double to lead off the sixth. She went to third when Christie Brown singled to left. Brown then stole second and Dunlow scored when the catcher threw to second in an attempt to get Brown, but no one covered the base.

Brown then scored when senior catcher Carla Cooper laced a double to center. Cooper advanced to third when Kelly Cummings singled to right and had crossed the plate when Holly Cowand was called out on a close play at first base, leaving the score 7-2.

Jody Mizelle led off the seventh inning with a single to left and moved to third when senior Abby Parker singled. Mizelle scored when Dunlow hit into a fielder’s choice.

Brown then singled to put runners on first and second, but a pair of fly balls ended the game.

“I’m pleased with the way we kept fighting,” Bertie assistant coach Jeremy Dawson said. “They kept on coming after it right until the end.”

Copeland said she and Dawson would truly miss the four seniors on the team n Megan Cowan, Brittany Hoggard, Abby Parker and Carla Cooper.

“We’re gonna miss them,” she stressed. “We love them and we thank them for their hard work and dedication not only to Bertie High School’s softball program, but to both Coach Dawson and myself.”

With a laugh, she added, “I’ll say this to Carla, Abby, Brittany and Megan n you don’t have to run another sprint at Bertie High School.”

The Lady Falcons, who won the Northeastern Coastal Conference, finished the season 21-2.

“We’re already looking forward to next season,” Dawson said as the Falcons prepared to close up shop for 2007.