Pam Pack silences Cards|Bryant strikes out seven in shutout

Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Sports Writer
The Pam Pack moved one step closer to securing a playoff spot as it blanked Jacksonville 6-0 to earn a Senior Night victory on Tuesday.
Morgan Bryant grounded the Coastal Conference rival Cardinals as she let up only two hits while striking out seven and walking one to help Washington up its record to 7-11 (6-7).
The win keeps Washington in the middle of the pack amongst the Coastal Conference and if it can pull of a win on Thursday at West Craven the Pam Pack would greatly improve its odds of making the postseason.
Other than an inside-the-park home run by Katelyn Singleton in the second inning, the Pack lineup failed to deliver a back-breaking hit against Cardinals pitcher Claire Harris.
Washington threatened just about every inning, and while it might not have had the big hit the Pack did a nice job of drawing walks and tacking on runs.
“We faced a different Jacksonville team than we did the last time we played them, this time around they had their No. 1 catcher and pitcher playing,” Pam Pack coach Doug Whitehead said. “But we battled and were able to put a couple of runs up. We didn’t have the big hit like I would have liked to have seen but a win is a win.”
Singleton got the Pack on the board in the bottom of the second when she drilled a line drive down the first baseline that rolled deep into the outfield allowing her to race all the way home and put the Pack up 1-0.
Caroline Smith followed her up with a single and two batters later would score thanks to some heads up base running.
With Smith on third, senior Stacey Mayer hit a short pop fly in foul territory on the third base side. Jacksonville’s catcher and third baseman both went after the ball, which the third baseman caught, however, nobody was covering home plate. Once the ball was caught, Smith raced home to give Washington a 2-0 advantage.
The Pack added two run in the next inning when senior Hayley Stowe scored on a Singleton fielder’s choice grounder, and Bryant crossed home on a Brandi Hardison fielder’s choice roller to third.
Washington added its final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Justyce McKissick stole home after Cardinals’ catcher Jordyn Peay’s pick off attempt at third base was over thrown.
Singleton scored the final run of the day when, after reaching base on a walk, she scored on a Mayer grounder to third base.
Aside from driving in the final run, Mayer added two assists. The Pack center fielder gunned down a runner at the plate in the top of the fourth and threw out a runner at third base in the sixth.
Washington scored its six runs on only four hits, but was patient enough to draw eight walks.
“They did a nice job drawing walks, they did good looking in the ball,” Whitehead said.
Once the Pack got ahead Bryant made sure it would stay on top as she baffled the Cardinals lineup all game long.
“Morgan was very good tonight, she was able to stay ahead of the batters,” Whitehead said. “Being ahead in the count she was able to throw her change up more; which is a good thing to be able to do.”
Before the game the Pack honored its three seniors Stowe, Mayer and McKiver, all of whom might have played their last game at Washington.
“It’s little bit of a bitter sweet thing,” Stowe said. “I know that I’m going on to do new things and start a new chapter in my life but I’m always going to miss Washington and all my friends.” Mayer said she also had mixed emotions about playing her final home game.
“It’s exciting but kind of sad at the same time,” Mayer said.
McIver said she was happy to go out on a high note.
“I’m happy we won, it feels good to win your last home game,” McIver said.
Jacksonville 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Washington 022 020 X — 6 4 3
WP: Morgan Bryant; LP: Claire Harris
Hitting: J — Jordyn Peay 1-2, Chloe Brown 1-2; W — Morgan Bryant 1-4 (R), Justyce McKissick 1-3 (R), Katelyn Singleton 1-2 (HR, 2 RBI), Caroline Smith 1-1 (R).