Pack sinks Vikings
A dynamite effort by Washington pitcher Rebekah Langston coupled with a timely miscue by D.H. Conley led to the Pam Pack’s first victory over the Vikings in four years as it topped the defending NCHSAA 3-A state champions 2-0 on Tuesday.
Langston silenced D.H. Conley for seven innings as she yielded only three hits, none of which came after the third inning, while striking out five batters five batters and issuing only two walks.
For Washington (7-2, 4-1) the win over its Coastal Conference rival is a program-boosting one that coach Doug Whitehead is hoping will further instill confidence in his young team as it heads into the middle portion of the season.
“I hope the young players grasp it, and I want the older girls to emphasize to them what we’ve done tonight,” Whitehead said. “I don’t think they realize what we’ve done and I don’t want them to think it’s just another win.”
The Pam Pack got ahead early as Morgan Bryant led off the bottom of the first inning by drawing a walk off of Alecia Gurkins and stealing second base. After a Haley Hutchins strikeout, Justyce McKissick bounced a grounder to Vikings second baseman Shannen Adams whose throw to first was off the mark allowing the speedy Bryant to cross home plate.
The Pam Pack added its second and final run in the third inning. Once again, Bryant got things started by leading off with a walk and was joined on base by Hutchins, who also walked. Both players would advance on a Justyce McKissick ground out. Bryant would score on the next play on a Sydney Gurkin grounder to go up 2-0.
Washington would finish the game with only one hit, a Haley Wright double in the second, but Whitehead was happy that his team was able to make the most out of its opportunities.
“It was not a beautiful win but I’ll take a win any day,” Whitehead said. “In the past we’ve lost games like this where the pitcher does an excellent job but we couldn’t take advantage of it. Things went our way tonight.”
Conley was able to produce three hits but was never able to get past second base. Gurkin, the Washington catcher, gunned down two runners who attempted to steal, one at second and one at third, and after that the Vikings’ run game came to a halt.
Conley threatened in the top of the sixth as it had runners on first and second with one out thanks to a Pack error and a Langston walk. However, Langston, the junior lefty, buckled down and was able to record the final two outs of the inning to preserve the shutout.
After the game, Whitehead said Langston’s ability to limit her base on balls was key.
“Rebekah has struggled early on this season with getting behind batters and I’ve tried to emphasize to her to get ahead of batters. We have a good defense behind us so it’s ok if they hit it,” Whitehead said. “Tonight, she got ahead of them and kept the ball low, they didn’t have many solid hits on her.”
The Pam Pack will be back in action on Friday when it plays at South Central.
D.H. Conley 000 000 0 – 0 3 1
Washington 101 000 X – 2 1 1
WP: Rebekah Langston; LP: Alecia Gurkins
Hitting: DHC – Courtney Gould 1-2, Taylor Matkins 2-3; W — Haley Wright 1-2 (2B).