Lady Falcons advance
WINDSOR – For the first time in six years Bertie High won its opening-round 2A softball state playoff game.
Alyssa Byrum twirled a five-hitter in the circle and her teammates delivered with 10 hits as the Lady Falcons topped Carrboro 13-3 to advance to the second round.
Byrum also helped her cause at the dish, going 2-for-4 and scoring three runs. Jessi Mizelle, Sydney Cowand, and Miranda Meldick also had two hits each. Mizelle and Meldick also scored three runs apiece.
The whole team got the job done and Alyssa Byrum with those seven strikeouts was huge,” said Falcons coach Jackie Copeland. “And this Bertie defense was in on every play.”
After the leadoff batter reached on an error, Byrum retired the next three in order in the top of the first inning. She then reached base in the bottom of the frame with a one-out single and scored Bertie’s first run on a passed ball. Mizelle, who reached on an error, also scored on a passed ball for a 2-0 Falcons lead.
Bertie got three more runs in the bottom of the second inning Meldick singled and scored. The Falcons had four stolen bases in the inning, two of those resulting in two runs by Byrum and Lindsey Dickens. That made it 5-0, Bertie.
In the third, Carrboro got on the scoreboard, but in the bottom half, three more Falcon runners crossed the dish, as Taylor Scott ripped a triple to right field with the bases loaded, clearing them and giving Bertie an 8-1 lead.
The Jaguars reduced their deficit to five with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but Bertie got one of those runs back when Mizelle doubled and scored later on a passed ball to make it 9-3, Falcons.
Bertie nailed down the win with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth when they sent nine batters to the plate. Mizelle and Cowand drove in a run each, while another came in on a bases-loaded walk and the other on a wild pitch, moving the Falcons on to the next round.
“The girls stayed focused on every play and just relaxed,” added Copeland. “I’m proud of these girls because we’ve had to work hard all season for everything we got.”
Bertie travels to Kenly today (Saturday) to face North Johnston; ironically, the last team to knock them out of the playoffs once the Falcons had won their first post-season game. Game time is set for 7 p.m.