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Lady Falcons pull off upset

ELIZABETH CITY – The defending champions of the Northeastern Coastal Conference got started on the right foot in 2008.

Bertie High School pounded out 11 hits and defeated Northeastern High School 10-0 in a varsity softball game here Friday night.

“We hit the ball as well one through nine as we have in any game during my 14 years of coaching,” veteran BHS skipper Jackie Copeland said. “I couldn’t have asked for a more solid game offensively.”

The Lady Falcons got started in the first inning when sophomore Jody Mizelle led off the game with a double. She went to third on a wild pitch and then scored when Whitney Castelloe reached via an error.

After a groundout advanced Castelloe to third, Christie Brown drew a walk and stole second. Senior Holly Cowand walked to load the bases.

Junior third baseman Chelsea Dunlow ripped a double to score both Castelloe and Brown and give Bertie a 3-0 advantage after the top of the first inning.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Anna Pierce ripped a single to center and advanced to second on a passed ball. She then stole third and attempted to score on a wild pitch, but was tagged out at the plate preserving the Bertie lead.

Sandi Todd led off the second with a double for the Lady Falcons. She scored when Mizelle ripped another double for her second hit of the game.

Courtney Dunlow then reached by an error which scored Mizelle. Dunlow went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI-groundout by Cowand, giving Bertie a 6-0 advantage.

The Lady Eagles went quietly in the home half of the second, allowing Bertie to add to their advantage in the top of the third inning.

Chelsea Dunlow led off with her second double of the contest and went to third when Kaitlyn Dunlow singled to right. Mizelle had her third extra-base hit of the contest to score both Dunlows and then came around to score herself when Castelloe reached on an error. Bertie led 9-0.

The final run of the game came in Bertie’s fourth inning at-bat.

Cowand led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice by Chelsea Dunlow and scored on an RBI-single by Kaitlyn Dunlow to establish the 10-0 final.

Courtney Dunlow (3-2) pitched all five innings for the Lady Falcons, facing just one over the minimum while allowing just two hits. She struck out six and walked two.

“Courtney Dunlow pitched a superb game,” Copeland said. “What I mean, is she was pitching from the heart and not just from the physical aspect of the game. She hit her targets very well and kept Northeastern off balance.”

Mizelle led the offensive attack by going 3-for-4, all extra-base hits.

“She (Mizelle) really came around on her hitting tremendously for this game,” Copeland said. “With, Chelsea Dunlow and Kaitlyn Dunlow I have known they could come around on hitting, but needed to gain that confidence level. I knew they could do it.

Chelsea Dunlow and Kaitlyn Dunlow were each 2-for-3 for the evening. Courtney Dunlow, Castelloe, Cowand and Todd each had one hit.

“My younger girls on the team did a great job, both those who played and those who were in the dugout,” Copeland said. “They are all very important.

“Catcher Christie Brown did an excellent job behind the plate,” she added. “Northeastern obviously respected her arm.”

While Copeland was pleased overall with the win, she was mindful that it was only the first game of the conference season.

“I’m proud of the team for the way they played against one of the top teams in the conference,” Copeland said. “Still, I reminded them after the game that this is the first of 12 games in the league. We’re pleased, but there is much more business to be taken care of.”