Washington suffers setback against South CentralPublished 3:46pm Friday, March 29, 2013
The Easter vacation could not have come at a better time for the Washington softball team, who should stand to benefit from having a few extra days to put Friday’s 6-0 loss to South Central behind it.
In a showdown for first place in the Coastal Conference, the Falcons played near flawless ball as junior pitcher Kayla Harris threw a seven-inning gem and first baseman Ashton Barbee delivered the game-winning run on a tremendous solo blast in the fifth to give South Central (9-1, 6-0) a one-game lead over the Pam Pack (9-2, 5-1) at the midway point in the season.
Harris was stellar on Friday as she moved the ball all around the strike zone to quiet a hard-hitting Pam Pack lineup. Harris ended the game yielding only three hits and two walks while striking out six in seven innings. Of Washington’s five base runners, only one was able to get on board with less than two outs and that did not happen until the seventh inning.
“We just couldn’t string hits together,” Washington coach Doug Whitehead said. “We got a couple of girls on but it wasn’t until we had two outs. When you have two outs you have to hit, you can’t go to small ball. We just didn’t get many runners on.”
For the better part of the game neither did the Falcons, as Washington ace Rebekah Langston matched zeros with Harris over the first three innings.
Langston would finish the game striking out eight batters and allowing six hits over seven innings, but a hiccup in the fourth proved costly.
Facing Barbee, South Central’s powerful lefty cleanup hitter, Langston left a pitch out over the plate that was rocketed deep over the right field fence and drifted towards the woods to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
“It was a deep as one I’ve seen hit to right field since I’ve been involved in the program,” Whitehead said. “I think the pitch just got away from (Langston) a little bit.”
The Pam Pack lineup could not answer as it did not get a runner past second until the seventh inning. Catie Dority, Allison Brantley and Justyce McKissick led Washington at the plate with one hit each.
South Central put the finishing touches on the game in the seventh as it rallied for five runs, taking advantage of some Pam Pack miscues on defense. The rally was punctuated by a Kayla Ruffin two-run double that put the Falcons up 5-1.
After the game, Whitehead put the loss on his shoulders.
“I just didn’t get the girls pumped up enough,” Whitehead said. “I didn’t get them ready to play.”
The Pam Pack will be back in action today when they play New Bern at 9 a.m. in the first game of the D.H. Conley Easter tournament.
South Central 000 100 5 — 6 6 0
Washington 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
WP: Kayla Harris; LP: Rebekah Langston
Hitting: SC — Kayla Ruffin 2-4 (2 RBI), Ashton Barbee 1-3 (HR, RBI), Taylor Beamon 1-3 (2B, R), Brittnay Hogerty 1-4, Lindsay Sutton 1-3; W — Catie Dority, Justyce McKissick 1-3, Allison Brantley 1-3.