Warren Central faces uphill climb to division title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BRANDON — The bad news for Warren Central is they couldn’t hit the ball Monday and dug themselves a huge hole. The good news is, they have seven more innings to straighten things out.

Amber Adcock went 2-for-4 with two triples and four RBIs, and Brandon beat WC 6-2. The two teams are the only schools in Division 6-5A, so both are already in the playoffs. That essentially makes Monday’s game and next Tuesday’s rematch at Warren Central one long, 14-inning marathon for the division championship.

WC will need to win by five or more runs next week to win it, and the right to host a first-round playoff series. Brandon scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth on Monday to gain a little breathing room.

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“Those runs were real big,” Brandon coach Richard Joyner said. “Last year, it being 1-0 and 2-1 when we played them, it doesn’t do anything for you. This gives us a little breathing room.”

Brandon (8-3, 1-0 in division play) got off to a fast start Monday, with Ashley Sistrunk and Amber McBroom leading off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. Adcock then laced a triple into the left field corner to bring both runners in, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Megan Cowan to give the Lady Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

Warren Central (8-5, 0-1) got one run back in the second with three hits from the bottom of the order, including an RBI single by Chelsea Worley. After that, however, its bats went ice cold.

Brandon pitcher Nena Edwards retired 11 straight batters from the second through the sixth innings, and didn’t allow another hit until Worley singled with two outs in the seventh.

“I told her this was probably the best game she’s pitched,” Joyner said of the sophomore Edwards. “She sometimes has a problem with throwing too flat, which makes it easier for batters to hit. She did a much better job keeping arch on the ball and moving it inside and out.”

WC did get another run in the seventh, when Mandy Fuller reached on an error and later scored on another error, but it was too little, too late. Brandon padded its lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth — the last two coming in on Adcock’s second two-run triple of the game — to make it 6-1.

Warren Central coach Lucy Young was not pleased with her team’s offensive output. The Lady Vikes had just four hits in the game and were retired in order in four of the seven innings. They sent four batters to the plate in another.

“We didn’t play good enough to win. We had some bright moments on defense, but it’s ridiculous to have players with as much experience and as much time as we’ve put into hitting to not do more,” Young said. “Every one of those girls is capable of hitting the ball, and every one of them has hit at some point.”