Washington sofball falls to Conley in the third round
Published 12:36 am Thursday, May 22, 2008
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
David Daniel was hoping to meet with his team at home plate Wednesday evening. However, D.H. Conley spoiled that plan, taking a 3-1 win in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A state playoffs.
While Washington, the No. 2 seed from the Coastal Conference, finished its season at 17-5, the third-seeded Vikings (21-5) will play Coastal Conference rival South Central in Friday’s fourth round. The Falcons (22-2), the top seed in the conference, took a 4-0 win over Southern Wayne on Wednesday.
The Pack made program history in fastpitch softball by reaching the third round for the first time in school history.
Washington loses three seniors off this year’s team, including catcher Marissa Fucito, who will sign with Pitt Community College on Friday. Right fielder and leadoff batter Lauren Allen and third baseman Amber Alligood also graduate.
The Vikings, which had lost to Washington twice during the regular season, took advantage of four Pam Pack errors. Conley scored twice off Washington mistakes in the third, then added a third run in the fifth thanks to another Pam Pack miscue.
With two outs in the third inning, Brianna Richie hit a slower roller to shortstop Lilly Ann Arnold and beat it out for an infield hit. Richie went to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball.
Pam Pack pitcher Charity Watson got Breanna Andrews to swing and miss at a third strike, but Fucito couldn’t hang on to the pitch and the ball rolled to the backstop. Richie beat Fucito’s throw to Watson, who raced to cover home plate, and Andrews darted to second base on the play. A second Pam Pack error, a dropped pop fly by Alligood just inside the third-base line on a ball hit by Allison Brown, allowed Andrews to score from second for a 2-0 lead.
The Vikings added an insurance run in the fifth. Brittany Smith slapped a leadoff single into left and Richie’s sac bunt moved her to second. With two outs, Arnold couldn’t quite glove Brown’s pop fly, which allowed Smith to score to make it 3-0.
The Vikings proceeded to load the bases, but Watson struck out Kaitlyn Maloney to keep the damage to a minimum.
Watson went on to allow the three unearned runs on four hits. The junior struck out 11 and walked four.
While Watson was solid, Conley pitcher Sarah Christian was superb. Christian retired the first 14 batters she faced and didn’t allow a hit until the seventh.
The Pack tried to rally in its final at-bat. Christian beaned Kristi Wood to start the inning. Fucito then hit a slow roller to short and the senior beat it out for a hit.
Two strikeouts later, Watson singled into shallow right to score Wood to make it a 3-1 game. The Pack had the tying run at first base, but Christian was able to strike out Stacey Mayer to end it.
Christian allowed the one run on two hits, striking out nine and not walking a batter.
With the Pack losing just three seniors, Daniel believes his club will be solid next year.
D.H. Conley 002 010 0 — 3 4 1
Washington 000 000 1 — 1 2 4
WP: Sarah Christian; LP: Charity Watson
Hitters: DHC — Kaitlyn Maloney 1-2, Breanna Andrews 1-3 (3 SB, run), Brianna Richie 1-3 (run), Brittany Smith 1-4 (run); W — Charity Watson 1-3 (RBI), Marissa Fucito 1-3.