The University High Lady Junior Buccaneers took another step toward sweeping through the Watauga Valley Conference unbeaten with a 5-1 victory Thursday afternoon at Hampton.
Haley Faulkner pitched a superb game, striking out seven and giving up just four hits in going the distance for UH (17-9 overall, 6-0 WVC).
“She hasn’t given up a walk in her last three or four games,” commented UH head coach Keith Jeffers. “She doesn’t give up many free passes anyway, so she makes you earn what you get. We started off a little sluggish in our hitting. I would like to have seen us start better, but a win is a win and you can’t complain about that.”
The slow start could be attributed to the pitching of Hampton’s Molly Crabtree, who matched Faulkner zero for zero through two innings before running into some trouble in the third and fourth frames.
Lady Bucs third baseman Taylor Treadway got the first hit of the game in the top of the third when she ripped a double to the fence in left field. She came around on an RBI base knock by Alyssa Fair to give the Lady Bucs a one-run lead.
Faulkner set the Lady Bulldogs down in the third and the UH bats woke up in the fourth. Mikki Burke opened with a single to third beating out a swinging bunt.
One out later, the Bucs ripped off three consecutive hits; a single by Belle Bright, a two bagger by Mollie Cohee and a single by Faulkner to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
Crabtree settled down and retired the next seven Bucs hitters. In all, Crabtree worked seven innings surrendering six hits and one walk while striking out six.
“Molly pitched a great game, but our hitting was slow to come around,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Bill Doss. “UH is a good team, they play hard. I think that over the next few weeks you will see us be right there with them.
“We are getting better. This tournament (Tiny Day) coming up we will get to see a lot of region and non-region teams. It will be a good way to measure ourselves and for some young kids to get experience.”
The Hampton bats remained quiet through four frames. and even though the Bulldogs strung together a pair of hits in the fifth they remained blanked on the scoreboard. With two away in the fifth, Kaila Stoneman drove a hit to left and Maggie Burchett singled up the middle, but Stoneman got a late jump and was thrown out at second by Bucs center fielder Carolyn Knight.
The ‘Dogs broke through against Faulkner in the sixth when catcher Danielle Guinn reached on a error and shortstop Carmin Calderon plated her with a single to left to cut the UH lead to 4-1.
Hampton had played an error-free contest until the seventh, when back-to-back infield errors allowed the Bucs a run. Faulkner set the ’Dogs down on one hit in the last of the frame.
University High 9, Hampton 6
The JV Lady Bucs were consistent, scoring three runs in each of the three innings played to topple the JV Lady ’Dogs.
The Lady ‘Dogs took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the first on run-scoring hits by Guinn (sacrifice fly), Ivy Wickiver (fielder’s choice RBI) and singles by Corrina Harrell and Chelsea Lunsford.
Calderon and Haley Trusler had RBI hits for Hampton in the second and third innings, respectively.
U.H. 001 300 1 — 5 6 2
Hampton 000 001 0 — 1 4 2
Faulkner and Bright. Crabtree and Guinn. W—Faulkner. L—Crabtree. DP—UH 1. LOB—UH 3, HHS 3. 2B—Treadway, Cohee.
U.H. 333 — 9
Hampton 411 — 6