Tigers sweep Vikings|Harrell drives in six runs in two games

Published 1:34 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sports Writer

WILLIAMSTON — Heading into a key Four Rivers Conference showdown with Northside on Friday, Williamston needed to win both games of its doubleheader with Plymouth on Tuesday to stay on par not only with Northside, but fellow conference power Southside.
The Tigers did just that as they swept the Vikings with a 4-0 win in the first game and cruised to an 8-2 victory in the second to improve their record to 11-6 (8-2).
Harris Shephard and Cassie Harrell got Williamston off to a good start in the first game, which in turn provided momentum in the second.
Sheppard, the Tigers’ ace, pitched all five innings (both games were only scheduled for five innings) and struck out six batters, walked none and allowed only two hits.
While Sheppard silenced the Vikings (5-12), Harrell was making noise at the plate as she went 2-2 and drove in all four of the Tigers’ runs.
“Cassie has been hitting the ball real well,” Williamston coach Damon Hayes said. “She doesn’t always get good pitches to hit, but when she does she is capable of driving the ball.”
In the first inning Madison Brandon (1-3) and Heather Jackson (1-1, 2B) each reached base after getting hits off of Vikings’ starter Brooke Gurganus, which set the stage for Harrell who brought both players home with a double to take a 2-0 lead.
Gurganus, who pitched all 10 innings of the doubleheader, allowed five hits in five innings in the first game.
After a scoreless second, the Tigers struck again in the third when Harrell blasted a two-run single to put her team up 4-0.
Shephard made sure Williamston never lost that advantage as she kept Plymouth quiet over the final two innings to secure the win.
Vikings coach Elricka Cooper was proud of the way her team played, but said she need more than just the hit a piece provided by Mackayla Mizzelle and Gurganus.
“We just didn’t hit the ball well like we should,” Cooper said. “Brooke pitched well, we just needed more offense.”
The Vikings’ quest for offense continued in Game 2 as Tigers’ starter Ronda Manning shut down Plymouth to win 8-2.
Plymouth mustered only three hits, with two of them coming from Mizzelle, who was 2-3 with a solo, fence-clearing home run in the fifth. The only other hit came from Gurganus, who was 1-3 with an RBI.
The Tigers made quick work of the Vikings in the second game, scoring two runs in the first, five in the second and one in the third.
Leadoff hitter Desia Moore went 2-2 with a double and scored twice, while No. 2 hitter Madison Brandon was 2-4 with two runs.
Both players did a nice job setting the table for Heather Jackson (2-3, 3 RBIs) and Harrell (1-3 2 RBIs), who combined to go 3-6 and drive in five runs.
Williamston also got hits from Kellen Edwards and Manning who were each 1-3, Courtney Wynn (1-1) and Karly Stevens (1-2). Wynn also went 1-2 with a triple in Game 1.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Northside, while the Vikings will be at Camden on Thursday.