Lady Vikes’ Fuller misses perfection by one walk|[3/22/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2005

When everything seemed to be working perfectly, Brittany Fuller decided to do a little tinkering with her pitches. All it cost her was a shot at perfection.

The Warren Central senior took a perfect game into the fifth inning Monday against Greenville-Weston before allowing a one-out walk to Candace Woodard. Fuller finished with a no-hitter and WC won easily, 11-0.

Cookie Johnson was 2-for-3 with a homer, triple and four RBIs for WC (7-3), and Mandy Fuller tripled and brought home a run with a sacrifice fly.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“I was kind of disappointed, but I also have to realize that perfect games are hard to get. There’s a reason they’re called a perfect game. I was close enough that I’m still happy with it,” said Brittany Fuller, who finished with 10 strikeouts in five innings.

The game was shortened by two innings because of the mercy rule.

Brittany Fuller was dominant the whole way against Greenville (0-5), which is in its first season of fast-pitch. She struck out eight of the first 10 batters she faced and didn’t allow a ball out of the infield the whole game.

The closest Greenville came to a hit was in the fifth and final inning. Camissa Jackson led off with a grounder between first and second that had a lot of backspin on it and died when it hit the dirt. Bridget Dillon fielded it cleanly, though, and threw to first to get Jackson by two steps.

The next batter was Woodard, and Fuller quickly fell behind in the count 2-1. She missed low with two pitches to walk the Greenville left fielder, ruining the perfect game.

Although that was gone, Fuller made sure she got the no-hitter. She struck out the next two batters to finish it.

“We were trying to do some pitches for later on. They were close, but I guess not quite,” Fuller said. “It’s not everything. And we still won, so I don’t care.”

By the time Fuller came out for the fifth, her bid for a gem was the only thing about the game that was still in doubt.

The Lady Vikes led 5-0 before Johnson hit an inside-the-park home run to center for their first hit. Seven walks in the first two innings and a series of stolen bases and wild pitches staked WC to the big lead.

“I thought we were real patient on the pitching and had some good pitch selection there,” WC coach Lucy Young said.

The Lady Vikes actually struggled to hit the ball early on. Greenville pitcher Carmen Gibson is only a seventh-grader, and her slower velocity threw off WC’s timing. The Lady Vikes were early on a lot of swings and hit several long foul balls.

Gibson’s wildness forced her to leave after the second inning, however, and WC tattooed replacement Alyssa Cole. WC had six hits in its last two at-bats, including three for extra bases and RBI singles by Tiffany Fuller and Shawn Johnson.

“It looks like it would be so easy to hit (slower pitching), but your mindset is that of a really fast pitch coming across there,” Young said. “But we adjusted to it. We started out shaky in that first inning, then everybody got more patient.”