Lady Falcons surge to league lead

Published 12:25 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

ELIZABETH CITY – Bertie High School drew even in the Northeastern Coastal Conference race here Tuesday.

The Lady Falcons knocked off Northeastern High School 9-2 and gained a tie atop the league standings with the Lady Eagles. The Falcons scored the first earned run of the season against Northeastern pitcher Caroline Umphlett. The Lady Falcons had four earned runs during the evening.

“The first thing is that for my team to believe they could beat a well-coached team with a good pitcher like Northeastern was important,” BHS skipper Jackie Copeland said. “We practiced hard and everyone on the team either got a hit or at least made good contact.

“Both teams are relatively young overall, but I was tremendously proud of my young girls,” she added. “It was great to see all the things we practiced mentally and physically being used on the field.”

Junior Bertie hurler Caroline White tossed a one-hitter Tuesday, backing up a no-hitter Friday against First Flight. She struck out 11 in leading the Lady Falcons to a tie atop the league standings.

“Both pitchers are experienced and both are very good,” Copeland said. “I can’t say enough about how Caroline responded in a big game, especially building on such a strong performance Friday.”

Ashley Harmon and Whitney Castelloe led the way for the Lady Falcons at the plate. Harmon was 4-for-4 while Castelloe was 3-for-5 during the afternoon.

Brook Bowen and White were each 2-for-4 and had a pair of RBIs while Sandi Todd was 2-for-5. Haley Williams, Tori Dunlow and Kelsey White also had hits for the Falcons.

Copeland said she was pleased to see her team climb back into the top spot – tied with Northeastern – atop the league.

“It feels great,” she said. “This would have seemed like a rebuilding year, but the kids have been working hard. They began working in November with conditioning under Coach Doug Jernigan and Coach Darren Cottle and I worked with them not just in physical conditioning, but mental preparedness and making them know we could be a winner.”

While she’s thrilled with where they are, she knows there’s still more to come.

“I am really ready to see how we respond,” she said. “There’s a target on us now and we have to go out and get the job done the rest of the way. That’s what is next.”