Pack deals Cards a no-hitter
After week-long layoff Washington softball coach Doug Whitehead wasn’t quite sure what kind of performance he would get from his young team on Tuesday when it returned to action against Jacksonville, but the Pam Pack exceeded even his most optimistic expectations as it no-hit the Cardinals in a 10-0 six-inning victory.
Junior ace Rebekah Langston was dominant as she fanned five batters in six innings to throw her first no-hitter of her Pam Pack career.
“It feels very rewarding because I worked very hard to get to this point,” said Langston, who fell two walks shy of a perfect game. “But, it’s not just me, it’s the whole entire team that was able to make sure that we didn’t allow a hit.”
Whitehead said the key for Langston was her ability to throw strikes to batters early.
“It was a great effort. We have been trying to pound in her head all year long to get ahead of the batters and she has made that a goal of hers and she has been doing a good job of it,” Whitehead said. “When she can get the ball down low she is hard to hit.”
While the Pam Pack defense was solid, so was its lineup as Haley Hutchins went 2-4 with three RBIs, while Haley Wright and Adriana Tyson each had two hits and drove in two runs.
Washington produced one run in the first before cracking the game wide open with a five-run third. The Pam Pack (15-2, 7-1) put the finishing touches on Jacksonville in the sixth when it rallied for four runs.
“When we came back from break I knew we might be a little sluggish … but we came around and we were finally able to get a few runs on the board,” Whitehead said. “I felt the sticks would come back around, we have been hitting the ball well as a team lately.”
Washington took a 1-0 lead in the first when Hutchins doubled, stole third and scored on a Justyce McKissick ground out to second.
After a scoreless second inning, the Pack attacked in the third. Morgan Bryant singled off of Jacksonville pitcher Kate Reeves and proceeded to steal second and third base before Hutchins drove her home with a grounder to second that was misplayed by the Cards.
Washington added two more runs when Wright blasted a double to score McKissick and Kaylee Jackson, who each reached base via infield singles.
Tyson followed up Wright’s two-run, two-bagger with one of her own as she boomed the ball over the head of the Cardinals’ center fielder to bring home Gurkin and Wright to take a 6-0 lead.
In the sixth, Washington would load the bases after Tyson led off with a single and was joined on the bags by Camri Dawson and Catie Dority, who each drew walks.
After an RBI ground out by Bryant made the score 7-0, Hutchins laced a two-run single to right field to bring home Dawson and Dority. Washington would trigger the 10-run rule when the Cardinals failed to catch a McKissick pop up to center, which allowed Hutchins to cross home.
The Pam Pack will be back in action on Friday when it plays at Havelock.
Jacksonville 000 00 — 0 0 2
Washington 105 04 — 10 10 0
WP: Rebekah Langston; LP: Kate Reeves
Hitting: J — 0; W — Morgan Bryant 1-3 (RBI, R), Haley Hutchins 2-4 (2B, 3 RBI), Justyce McKissick 1-4 (R, RBI), Kaylee Jackson 2-3 (2B, R), Haley Wright 2-3 (2B, 2 RBI), Adriana Tyson 2-3 (2 2B, 2 RBI).