Bertie advances to round three
WINDSOR – Bertie High School is moving on.
The Lady Falcons knocked off Bunn High School 8-1 in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs here Thursday. That win put them in Friday’s third round game at North Johnston High School.
“I feel good about the way we played and especially how the bats came around all the way through the lineup,” veteran Bertie softball boss Jackie Copeland said. “I felt like each of our hitters waited for the pitch they like and did something with it.
“What I was most pleased about was the way we were aggressive, but not out of control,” she added. “I thought we played very relaxed, but aggressive.”
Bunn used a pair of singles and a hit batter to score a run in the opening frame of the contest, but Bertie answered quickly.
Brook Bowen led off the bottom of the first with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice by Tori Dunlow. Caroline White then singled on the infield which moved Bowen to third. Bowen then raced home on a passed ball to tie the game at 1-all.
In the top of the second, White had gained control on the mound and struck out the side.
Bertie fared little better in their half of the second as Morgan Howell delivered a double to center, but was left stranded.
White again set down Bunn in order in the third, but again Bertie wasn’t able to capitalize as White drew a walk, but was left standing at first base.
White walked the leadoff batter in the fourth frame, but got a fly out and two strikeouts to keep Bunn at bay.
In the home half of the fourth, the Lady Falcons finally got things going offensively.
After an out, Lauren Dunlow ripped a single to right. She came all the way around to score when Ashley Harmon doubled to right-center field, giving Bertie a lead it would never relinquish.
The damage was far from over, however. Harmon moved to third on a groundout before Brandice Cullipher drew a walk to put runners on first and third. Bowen quickly delivered with a single to left that dropped just short of the left fielder’s glove. That scored Harmon and sent Cullipher to second. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Dunlow then drew a walk to load the bases before White ripped a single down the right field line which scored both Cullipher and Bowen and sent Dunlow to second. That gave the Lady Falcons a 5-1 edge and they never looked back.
Bunn got two runners aboard in the top of the fifth, but a strikeout and fly out ended the inning.
Bertie added three more insurance runs before the game was done and advanced to the third round where they met North Johnston High School Friday night in a game that finished too late for press time.
“I was pleased with my whole team, but I was especially happy with Ashley Harmon for both her hitting and her fielding,” Copeland closed. “We’ll keep working together as a team and, hopefully, getting the plays we need like we did today.”