Lady Bear softball opens 3-0

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

AHOSKIE – The 2016 Hertford County High softball team has started off on a hot streak and they have already made history. Led by first-year head coach Stephen Atstupenas, the Bears have won three straight to surpass the two win total they accumulated from the two previous seasons. The Bears have scored 41 runs through three games, which is exponentially more than the 2014 and ‘15 teams scored in an entire season.

The young Lady Bears talent includes a trio of freshman and six sophomores that has been the spark in their first week of play.

On Monday, Hertford County topped Rocky Mount in their season opener. The Bears then went on to sweep Northampton County in a two-game series on Wednesday and Friday.

Emily Merritt collected the win in all three games, going 16 innings, striking out 32 batters, while only surrendering five hits and two walks.

In the opener against Rocky Mount, the Bears plated 10 runs in the first inning and went on to win by a score of 18-1. Merritt surrendered just one hit in the contest while striking out 11.

She also did a lot of damage at the plate going 2-for-3 including a two RBI inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning. Also collecting multiple hits were Karen New and Kyara Rodgers, each of whom had three hits.

In their second game, the Bears shutout the Northampton County Lady Jaguars by a score of 12-0 on Wednesday. New and Rodgers again paced the Bear offense with another multi-hit performance.

New even accounted for her own inside-the-park home run – her first this season – in the 11-1 win over the Jaguars in game-three at Jackson on Friday. The highlight Friday came by way of a spectacular play by Rodgers: a popup behind the pitchers circle that looked to be in no man’s land was caught by the diving third baseman for the final out.

Hertford County will host First Flight for their conference opener today, Tuesday, at 7 p.m.