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Freshman Caroline Gore pitched a one-hitter, went 2-for-2 at the plate and stole home in West Brunswick’s 11-0 shellacking of East Bladen on April 24.
“That was Caroline’s first varsity win,” said West coach Joe Noble.
Gore also had the game’s only extra-base hit—a triple to the gap in right-center field. She went into third base standing up.
The East Bladen pitcher, Melissa Macon, had her team’s only hit—a single up the middle in the third inning.
The win gives West Brunswick a 7-3 record in the Waccamaw Conference and it was Noble’s 211th victory at West. The Trojans are tied with South Columbus for second place in the league. The two teams played Friday and were tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh before the umpire suspended the game because of rain. It will be continued this week.
West Bladen has already clinched at least a tie for the conference championship.
West Brunswick had four hits, four sacrifice RBIs and seven total RBIs in its win over East Bladen. Besides Gore’s RBI triple and single, cleanup hitter Dez Avallone went 1-for-1 with two runs batted in, while Ariana Thomas went 1-for-1 with one RBI.
Alyssa Chappell had two sacrifice RBIs, and leadoff Abbey Dyson also sacrificed in a run.
Eagles’ coach Andy Clark said, “We’re in a rebuilding situation, and West Brunswick is a very good team. They’ve got a chance to win the conference.”
Clark said he was impressed by both of West’s pitchers, Gore and Savannah Pridgen, who pitched the last two innings.
Clark lamented his team’s errors, noting, “Almost every time you make an error, you end up giving up a run.”
Dyson reached first on an error in the first inning and scored on Avallone’s sacrifice fly to center field. The Trojans added two more runs on Chappell’s sacrifice and on an Eagle throwing error.
West increased its lead to 7-0 in the second when Nicole Phillips and Alex Wickel walked, Gore and Avallone got base hits and Thomas sacrificed in a run.
The Trojans added four more runs to the scoreboard in the third on consecutive infield errors by East Bladen, Gore’s triple, Dyson’s sacrifice fly to deep center field, Wickel’s walk and Thomas’ single.
West batted in only four innings because the game was called early due to the 10-run rule.
Gore struck out five and didn’t walk anybody. Macon walked six West batters and hit another one with a pitch.
“Our pitching was pretty good,” Noble said. “Our defense is solid all the way around. They work hard at it.”
The defensive gem of the night occurred when Alex Wickel threw to Sam Smith, who tagged out an Eagle runner trying to steal third.
Gore, by contrast, seemed to stun East Bladen when she stole home in the second inning. By the time the Eagles reacted, Gore was almost at the plate.
The West coach let the Trojans play “backwards softball” in practice Monday and offered other incentives to lighten the mood this late in the season.
“We try to have a little fun and make it fun for them to hit,” he said.
E. Bladen 000 00—0 1 4
W. Brunswick 344 0x—11 4 1
EB—Melissa Macon 1-for-2.
WB—Caroline Gore 2-for-2 (3B, RBI)), Dez Avallone 1-for-1 (2 RBI), Ariana Thomas 1-for-1 (RBI), Alyssa Chappell 2 RBI, Abbey Dyson RBI.
WP—Caroline Gore. LP—Melissa Macon.
West JV wins conference
The West Brunswick junior varsity beat South Columbus 8-1 Friday and won the conference championship. Caroline Gore struck out 15 batters. She walked three and gave up three hits as West remained unbeaten in the conference. West has lost one conference game in three years under coach Donald Davis.
Amanda Trapp was 4-for-4 with a two doubles and a triple. Brianna Molina was 3-for-4. Leilani Emile was 2-for-4. Jordan Canady was 1-for-2. Ashley Smith hit a double. Bre Small was 1-for-2.
Sarah Sue Ingram, a member of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame board of directors, is a sports correspondent for the Beacon.