First Posted: 5/13/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN East Surry belted three homeruns and Hayley Shelton finished with double digit strikeouts as the Cardinals cruised into the finals of the Northwest 1A Conference softball tournament with a 10-0 win over South Stokes.
Cardinal senior Courtney Simmons hit a walk-off grand slam homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning to push the East lead over the slaughter rule, after homeruns from Julie Bullington and Paige Honeycutt put the defending 1A state champions up 6-0 heading into the fourth inning.
Eight of the Cardinals 10 runs came off homeruns.
It was the second straight night the Cards forced the slaughter rule on an opponent, after destroying Elkin in the first round of the tournament Tuesday, 15-0 in three innings.
East Surry coach Derrick Hill said despite his teams show of power at the plate Wednesday, he was happier with its ability to manufacture runs and make the most of plate appearances.
The Cardinals first run of the game came after Simmons reached on a walk, stole second, moved to third on a ground out by Morgan Chilton and then came home after a single by Honeycutt.
To me Morgans groundout is a productive out, Hill said. And thats what we have been telling them all year, If you are going to make an out, make a productive out. I was proud of the way we hit the ball tonight with runners in scoring position and then they ended up scoring two runs because of what we have been gnawing at them all year. It was kind of the best of both worlds tonight.
Hill said the importance of having a leadoff hitter like Simmons and hitters up and down the lineup who are capable of driving in runs can not be underestimated. He said Simmons has reached base in the first inning in 14 out of 18 games this season.
In addition to a strong night at the plate, Cardinal pitcher Hayley Shelton all but decimated the Sauras lineup, giving up just one hit to go along with 10 strikeouts and one walk through five scoreless innings.
After Simmons scored in the first to set things off, Julie Bullington blasted a three-run shot to left center in the second to put even more pressure on South.
Honeycutt followed that with a blast of her own in the third, capped off by Simmons grand slam which Hill said cleared the right field scoreboard at the Cardinals home field.
Courtney Simmons finished 1-for-2 with a homerun, four RBIs, two walks and one stolen base. Simmons was followed by Paige Honeycutt (2-for-3, one run scored, two RBIs, homerun), Sam Smith (1-for-2 two runs scored), Beth Isaacs (1-for-2 one run scored, a double and one RBI) and Julie Bullington (1-for-2 two runs scored, a homerun and three RBIs).
The Cardinals will take on West Wilkes today in Pilot Mountain at 6 p.m. for the tournament championship. After two tough games against the Blackhawks, Hill said he and his team know the championship game wont be a cakewalk.
They can play, they are talented and if we dont show up then they can beat us, Hill said. To our advantage we are playing at home and I am sure they would love nothing more than to win that tournament championship on our field, so we are going to do everything they can do to prevent that. I dont worry too much about my kids being focused to play them because they know West is good. I am sure we will be ready to play them.
Elkin 000 0 3 4
East Surry 1 13 1 15 7 0
WP: Anna Mitchell; LP: Wagoner
2B: ES Courtney Simmons, Samantha Smith
3B: ES Christian Smith
HR: ES Morgan Chilton
East Surry 10,
South Stokes 0
South Stokes 000 00 0 1 2
East Surry 132 04 10 7 2
WP: Hayley Shelton; LP: Sam Baker
2B: Beth Isaacs
HR: Courtney Simmons, Julie Bullington, Paige Honeycutt