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PHCC wins Region X tourney
Softball: Region X Tournament
The Patrick Henry Community College softball team won its first Region X tournament title on Saturday in Dobson, N. C. Above the Patriots are shown with their championship trophy. (Photo by Kenny Webster)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
By JOHNNY BUCK -
Patrick Henry Community College’s softball team overcame an early 2-0 deficit Saturday with a six-run third inning to beat Surry Community College 8-4 and win the program’s first Region X Tournament.
Every starter for PHCC finished with at least one hit as the Lady Patriots made up for a close loss in last year’s tournament title game.
“The girls played with a ton of heart and all pulled together to winthe tournament,” said PHCC head coach Kathleen Brown. “Everyone is really, really excited, and they definitely deserved it. We played the best that we have all season.”
Catcher Carly Schmidt, who was named the Region X Player of the Year on Thursday, led PHCC at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double. She was also hit by a pitch.
Randi Jo Coffey and Erin McCarthy added two-RBI singles in the decisive third inning to help PHCC earn the title.
“People just started getting on base — no one was trying to do too much,” said Brown of the third frame. “They were just moving runners. Even the outs we had, we were moving runners over. Once we tied the game, I think the killer instinct kind of kicked in. They were all waiting on their pitch, hitting their pitch, and the base runners did a good job, too. Everything had to be right to score that many runs.”
Frankie Carleo added a two-run homer in the top of the fourth to help seal the victory.
Rachel Hawks got the win on the mound with a complete-game effort. She struck out six and gave up three runs (two earned).
It capped an impressive tournament for Hawks, who threw every inning for the Patriots, earning a 1-0, eight-inning win over College of the Albemarle on Friday and a 3-0 victory over Stanly Community College in the semifinals, also played Friday.
The Patriots did lose to Surry 3-2 early Saturday before claiming the 8-4 victory in the winner-take-all contest of this double-elimination tournament.
Five PHCC players were later named to the all-tournament team: Schmidt, Hawks, McCarthy, Lauren Snead and Whitney Catterton.
The regional championship advances PHCC to the two-team series for a spot in the national tournament, where they will host Illinois Central College for a doubleheader Friday. If the teams split, a decisive third game will be played Saturday, also on PHCC’s campus.
“Rachel did such a good job this weekend,” said Brown. “She pitched every inning and hit her spots. We’re going to need her to continue to do that, the defense to be solid behind her and the offense to get those timely hits if we want to beat Illinois Central.”
If PHCC can earn two wins this weekend against ICC, it would advance to the national tournament, which will begin in roughly two weeks in Clinton, Miss.
(Editor’s note: Johnny Buck works in sports communications for Patrick Henry Community College)