Bertie falls to Northeastern

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WINDSOR – Errors paved the way for Northeastern High School to earn a win in a battle of league heavyweights in the Northeastern Coastal Conference here Tuesday.

The Eagles used three errors to earn a 3-0 softball win over the Lady Falcons of Bertie High School in the key early-conference matchup.

“I was disappointed, not in our effort, but in our execution,” Bertie softball boss Jackie Copeland said. “I didn’t think mentally we were all together. Our mistakes were mental, not physical.”

Both teams left a substantial number of runners on base, combining to leave 14 runners aboard during the contest.

The first inning was a good indication of what was to come. Northeastern put three runners aboard with one out, but a strikeout and ground out ended the threat.

Bertie came back to put two on base before coming up empty.

With one out in the first, Whitley Castelloe singled to right-center field. She moved to second on a walk to Haley Williams. A groundout, however, ended the inning.

Neither team produced any offense in the second inning as both sides went down in order.

The third inning saw Northeastern break the tie thanks to two walks and a throwing error as they surged ahead 1-0.

The Lady Falcons came back in the bottom of the third when Brooke Bowen and Williams each had singles to put runners at first and second. A groundout, however, ended the threat.

In the fourth, Northeastern got one runner aboard, but Bertie catcher Tori Dunlow gunned her down attempting to steal second.

A walk and an error allowed the Lady Eagles to add one run to their lead in the fifth frame as they took a 2-0 lead.

Ashley Harmon got a pinch hit single for the Lady Falcons in the bottom of the fifth, but was left aboard.

Falcon right-hander Caroline White took care of Northeastern in the sixth with three straight strikeouts.

In the bottom of the inning, the Falcons mounted another threat.

White singled and went to second on a fielder’s choice with Dunlow at bat. Both runners were safe, but they were left stranded on a groundout.

Northeastern added an insurance run in the seventh stanza when a walk, two stolen bases and a wild pitch allowed a runner to score, making it 3-1.

Bowen singled in the seventh, but the comeback fell short thanks to a strikeout that ended the game.

“We’re very young and sometimes young teams are going to make mental mistakes,” Copeland said. “That’s not making an excuse; it’s just the reality of where we are as a team. I’m proud of the way the girls are working and growing.”

The Lady Falcons will be back in action Friday when they host Currituck County High School.