Washington softball team wins
KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
WILLIAMSTON -- Rubbing a small welt on her forehead, Meredith Whitehead vowed revenge on her teammate, but then broke into a laugh.
Whitehead, Washington's first baseman, was struck on the head by a ball thrown from second baseman Samantha Elks during first inning action at Williamston on Thursday. That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Pam Pack in their 4-0 victory.
Elks flashed a huge grin, then apologized again to her teammate. The two, who play side-by-side on the Washington infield, made every play look routine throughout the game.
Washington (3-4) got another solid pitching performance from junior Jeri Bell, who fired a four-hit shutout. Bell, who retired 20 straight in a dominating one-hit performance against the Tigers earlier this season, fanned nine and didn't walk a batter.
The victory came after a tough loss to West Craven, another game where Washington couldn't quite come up with enough runs to scratch out a win.
Elks agreed with her teammate.
Brittany Miles had a hot day at the plate, as the catcher went 3-for-4 on the afternoon. Ashley Gladsen added a pair of hits, driving in runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Despite the loss, the Tigers (1-4) played much better than they did in their first meeting with the Pack.
Washington, ranked sixth in the Class 3-A N.C. Coaches/iHigh.com poll, got on the board in the fourth to break up a pitcher's duel.
Jamie Lilley started the inning by reaching on an error, then moved to second when Whitehead earned a one-out walk. Gladsen followed by lacing a single into right. Lilley scooted around the bases and slid into home, just avoiding the sweeping tag of Williamston catcher Meredith Miller. Miles then blooped a single into shallow left to load the bases.
After a force out at the plate, Meredith Knox popped one up just beyond the pitcher's mound. Tiger hurler Samantha Shepard couldn't quite get her glove on it, as the ball dropped to the ground and allowed Gladsen to score for a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers had their best chance to dent the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Heather Wynne (2-for-3) beat out an infield hit before Virginia Webb slapped a one-out single to left. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice by Erica Davis. But the runners were left stranded when Mary Drew grounded out, as Whitehead picked up a grounder and flipped the ball to Elks covering first.
Washington tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth. Jessica Joyner led off by roping a single into center, then moved to second on a Lilley sacrifice. Bell ripped a single to left, then advanced to second after a rundown. Joyner eventually scored on a passed ball, while Bell crossed home on Gladsen's second RBI single of the game.
Williamston got a runner to second in the sixth and seventh innings, but both were left stranded.
Elks helped end the game when she ranged far to her right to scoop up a grounder, then fired the ball to Whitehead at first to just beat the runner.
Elks and Whitehead then walked off the field with a smile, not letting a little bump on the head come between friends and teammates. At least, not until the next practice.
Washington 000 220 0 -- 4 7 1
Williamston 000 000 0 -- 0 4 5
WP: Jeri Bell; LP: Samantha Shepard
Wa -- Brittany Miles 3-4, Ashley Gladsen 2-4 (2 RBI), Jessica Joyner 1-4, Jeri Bell 1-4; Wi -- Heather Wynne 2-3, Erica Davis 1-2, Virginia Webb 1-3.