Pack’s playoff run comes to an end
GREENVILLE — The Washington softball team’s playoff run came to an end on Friday night as Katarina Hudson delivered a two-out, game-winning base hit to score Shannen Adams and lift D.H. Conley to a 3-2 victory over the Pam Pack in the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs.
Locked in a 2-2 tie, Washington pitcher Rebekah Langston recorded two quick outs to start the seventh inning when Adams, the Vikings’ No. 2 hitter, recorded a single to keep the inning alive. Hudson, who belted an RBI single earlier in the game, stepped up to the plate and came up clutch once again as she drove the ball deep into the outfield to score Adams with no play at the plate to seal the Pam Pack’s fate.
Despite the outcome, Washington coach Doug Whitehead said he was proud of the way his team battled.
“We went up, then they went up, but we fought back all the way to the end. We just kept fighting,” Whitehead said. “It was just a great effort for us and D.H. Conley as well and I would just like to congratulate them.”
Though Hudson, who went 2-3 with two RBIs for the top-seeded Vikings (18-6, Coastal Conference), had a strong afternoon, Whitehead said there was no way he was going to pitch around her.
“No, no, I felt very confident in what Rebekah was doing and did not think about it,” Whitehead said. “We had two outs and she has done the job for us all year. There was no second-guessing what so ever.”
Langston gave a strong effort in the loss as she pitched all seven innings and allowed six hits while fanning five. Alecia Gurkins got the win for the Vikings as she threw a complete game as well and allowed six hits and struck out four.
After the game was postponed three days due to inclement weather Washington (19-6), the No. 3 seed out of the Coastal Conference, wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Senior leadoff batter Morgan Bryant reached base on a Conley error and was bunted second base before reaching third on a Justyce McKissick single. With Adriana Tyson up at the plate, McKissick forced a run down between first and second which allowed Bryant to scamper home from third and score thanks to a slick slide that avoided the tag of the Vikings’ catcher to take a 1-0 lead into the second inning.
In the third, the Vikings would piece together their first two-out, two-run rally, which was once again started by Adams, who singled before Hudson blasted an RBI double to left field. Hudson would cross home after the Pam Pack failed to corral a Courtney Gould fly to left. The Pam Pack would get the next batter out to end the inning and stop the bleeding but the damage had already been done.
The score would remain 2-1 until Washington struck for a run in the fifth. Senior Sydney Gurkin led off the inning with a infield single and moved to second on a Haley Wright sac bunt and was removed for pinch-runner Faith Benson. Benson would score from third one batter later as a Catie Dority short pop up down the first base line dropped and died in the mud allowing Benson to touch home plate and tie the game at 2-2.
The score would stay that way until the Vikings’ seventh-inning rally.
Friday’s night’s game marked the last for Gurkin and fellow senior Morgan Bryant, both of whom said after the game they were proud of the way their team played and were excited to see leave with the program heading in the right direction.
“They are going to be impossible to replace,” Whitehead said of his seniors. “It’s been a pleasure to coach them.”
Washington 100 010 0 — 2 6 1
D.H. Conley 002 000 1 — 3 6 1
WP: Alecia Gurkins; LP: Rebekah Langston
Hitting: W — Justyce McKissic 3-3, Adriana Tyson 1-3, Sydney Gurkin 2-3; D — Lauren Porter 1-4, Shannen Adams 2-3 (2 R), Katarina Hudson 2-4 (2 RBI), Julia Allsbrook 1-3.