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SHALLOTTE—Victor Central High School’s Erin Nargi struck out 18 of 25 batters as the Blue Devils blanked West Brunswick 6-0 in softball Thursday night.
“She was throwing between 64 and 67 mph, and we don’t see that around here,” West coach Joe Noble said. “She was poppin’.”
The visitors from Victor, N.Y., 20 miles south of Rochester, had only four hits but strung together the ones they needed to win.
After a scoreless four innings, Victor’s Becky Allen hit a base-hit blooper over the West shortstop’s head, Mindy Mereniez walked and Alyssa Devaney doubled to center field to score two.
“We had that one, good, clutch hit by Alyssa Devaney—a two-run double that seemed to ignite us,” Victor coach Shelly Collins said.
A West errant throw to first became a two-base error when the ball rolled into right field, and the Blue Devils scored on a wild pitch to take a 4-0 lead.
Victor has come south to play West Brunswick for eight years. The Blue Devils stay in Wrightsville Beach and play four scrimmages and two games against a variety of teams during their spring break.
It’s still early in the season for teams from the North, so the Blue Devils came to Shallotte with a 3-0 record. The Lady Trojans took the field with a 13-2 record.
West didn’t have the strikeout problem last year against Nargi.
“We hit her last year,” Noble said. “That girl has done some work.”
Nargi, who ended up being section player of the year in New York last year, walked two and allowed only two hits to go with her 18 strikeouts.
“She was throwing the ball real well,” Collins said.
West Brunswick’s Anna Hart went 2-for-2 at the plate and was the only player for either team with more than one hit.
“Anna’s got extremely quick hands,” Noble said. “She can handle stuff like that. Others on our team can handle it, too. They just didn’t tonight.”
West Brunswick batters are used to seeing fastballs in the mid- to upper-50s mph.
Nargi was still blazing her 67-mph pitches in the fifth inning, as she struck out 15 of the first 20 batters. West didn’t get the ball out of the infield until the fourth when Carly White flied out to deep right-center field.
Nargi went the distance, taking off her sunglasses only for the seventh inning and well after sundown.
The Lady Trojans’ Heather Carter and White combined to strike out seven batters.
The Blue Devils played error-free.
“They’re a good team,” Noble said.
Collins said, “We love to come down here. They have a good team, they’ve got a beautiful facility and they feed us.”
The Blue Devils enjoyed a hot-dog cookout after the game.
VC 000 042 0—6 4 0
WB 000 000 0—0 2 2
Leading hitters: WB—Hart 2-for-2. VC—Devaney 1-for-3 (2B).
Sarah Sue Ingram is interim sports editor at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at email@example.com