Brandon ace handcuffs WC from the plate and mound|[02/26/08]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2008

BRANDON — In any season, every team will have a few bad games. On Monday, it was Warren Central’s turn.

Brandon pitcher Whitney Warner went 4-for-4 with four singles and an RBI, and didn’t allow a hit after the second inning as the Lady Bulldogs routed Warren Central 9-2. Warner allowed two runs, five hits and a walk, and struck out seven in a complete game.

Warren Central, which had been averaging more than six runs a game coming into Monday’s contest, scored twice in the top of the first and barely came close again. It only had one baserunner after the second inning as Warner retired 19 of the last 22 batters she faced, including 11 in a row at one point.

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WC (3-4) also committed three errors and uncorked three wild pitches that allowed runners to score. It was an unusual sight for a team that had been hitting well. Two of the Lady Vikes’ four losses had been by one run, and they scored seven in both of those. They’ll have little time to put it behind them — perennial power Madison Central visits WC tonight.

“Poor execution. We played well in the first inning and that was it,” WC coach Dana McGivney said. “It was just an off night. It’s tough to be up for two big games in a row. I hope they bounce back tomorrow.”

The Lady Vikes jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with a two-out rally in the top of the first. Andi Hearn ripped a double down the left field line, and Mandy Fuller and Shawn Johnson followed with RBI singles.

Brandon (4-3) evened the score with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the inning — also scored with two outs — then took control in the third with three unearned runs. A leadoff error was followed by singles by April Stevenson and Warner — the latter bringing in a run — and a pair of run-scoring groundouts.

The Lady Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the fourth when Brooke Barrett tripled in a run and then scored on a wild pitch, and scored two more in the sixth.

“I really think we did come together as a team,” Warner said. “We strung hits together when we needed to and that helped out a lot.”

Warren Central, meanwhile, didn’t string anything together. After Shelbi Conerly and Tiffany Fuller hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the second, WC didn’t get another ball out of the infield against Warner.