First Posted: 5/22/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN The East Surry softball teams 8-0 NCHSAA second-round victory over Jordan-Matthews began Tuesday night and finished Friday.
After a less-than-stellar effort against Chatham Central Tuesday, the Cardinals knew they had to perform better in order to defend their 1A state championship. When coach Derrick Hill challenged his squad to step up their game, the seniors one-upped Hill and called a players-only meeting.
They agreed that for us to be as good as we can be, everybody has to do their part and not pout when they strike out, Hill said. Just be positive all the time. They took it upon themselves to rectify the situation.
The meeting, teamed with an intense practice Wednesday, lit a fire under the girls.
The last game wasnt us, Hill said. We had two good days of practice. The first one was not pleasant for them, Im sure.
On Friday, the real East Surry softball team took the field. Courtney Simmons led off the Cardinals half of the first with a bunt. The Jets third baseman made an errant throw on the play and as the ball rolled into the outfield, the speedy Simmons was able to score.
With her speed, theres no way Im slowing her down, Hill said. When we can get ahead like that early, I like our chances.
The Cardinals performed even better after batting around the order once. Simmons led off the third inning with a triple, after which Christian Smith walked. Smith, sensing an opportunity, took second while the Jets players were not paying attention. The play rattled Jordan-Matthews and set the tone for East Surry.
Were going to be aggressive and take advantage of them being lackadaisical or not paying attention or whatever, Hill said.
The Cardinals scored at least one run from the third through the sixth inning. They did not have to bat in the bottom of the seventh. East Surry had seven hits and took advantage of every baserunner with steals and leads after each pitch that flustered the Jets.
Simmons finished 3-for-4 with an RBI. Smith had a huge two-run double with two outs in the fourth inning.
Hayley Shelton was excellent as usual, striking out 11 in her six innings of work to go against one hit. Anna Mitchell pitched the final inning.
As for Hill, he got to spend some quality time sitting on the bucket of softballs knowing the game was in hand for the latter half of the contest.
Its nice to sit around, not chewing your fingernails off in the state playoffs knowing if you lose, you go home, he said.
East Surry hosts South Stanly on Tuesday at 7 p.m. After not playing like themselves in the first round, the Cardinals showed their true colors last night.
We wanted to send a message to the other teams that have to come up here, Hill said.
East Surry 8,
JM 000 000 0 0 1 2
ES 102 311 x 8 7 2
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.