Lady Pam Pack fall in home finale|Will be on road for first playoff game

Published 8:50 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

Sports Editor

Washington was hoping to gain some momentum heading into next week’s N.C. High School Athletic Association state softball playoffs, and send its four seniors off in style.
However, the South Central Falcons spoiled those plans with a 1-0 win in Thursday’s Coastal Conference regular-season finale. Kiki Harris drove in the game’s only run with two outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Even though the game had no bearing on the standings or playoff seeding, senior pitcher Charity Watson was hoping for a different outcome.
“We were on our home field and we wanted to win,” said Watson, who fanned 13 and allowed the unearned run on five hits. “We just have to let everything go. It’s a new game and new people (starting next week).”
Watson and her fellow seniors — Brittany Bryant, Kayla Spain and Sarah Mayo, were honored prior to the game.
“They are a great bunch of girls,” Whitehead said. “I hate to see them go. Having Charity as a pitcher makes any coach look good.
“Brittany came back this year after being out a year and she’s an outstanding leader. Kayla has been a four-year varsity player and she’s handled first base extremely well. I’m glad Sarah was able to return from back surgery. She’s a great inspiration to the team.”
The Pack (14-6, 10-4) finished with just two hits off sophomore Caroline Wainwright, but several batters got in some good licks. Center fielder Kimberly Boltinhouse made several outstanding defensive plays for the Falcons (11-9, 8-6).
“We hit the ball,” Washington coach Doug Whitehead said. “It just didn’t fall. That center fielder is the best friend of Caroline Wainwright; no doubt about it.
“I’m encouraged. We’ve hit the ball very hard the past two ball games.”
The Pack will be looking to do the same in next week’s state playoffs. Washington, the No. 2 seed out of the Coastal Conference, will play at either White Oak or Jacksonville, the No. 2 seed from the Mideastern Conference, in Tuesday’s first-round.
“It’s a new season next week,” Whitehead said. “We start the state playoffs. We’re going to have to hit the ball. I think we’ve got a good chance at making a nice run.”
Wainwright, who struck out three, was solid for the Falcons. She only allowed Kristi Wood’s first-inning single and a Stacey Mayer single in the sixth.
The Falcons took advantage of a Washington error in the seventh. Shakemia Edwards reached on a one-out error, taking second on the play. Harris slapped a two-out single to center for the game-winner.
The Pack will look to shake off the loss and get ready for a playoff run.
“It’s going to take hard work and determination,” Watson said. “We have to play from the heart.”