- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
With the top seed in next week’s Northwest Region Softball Tournament already in hand, the Halifax County High School varsity softball team faced no real pressure here in last night’s Western Valley District Softball Tournament semi-final game. The relaxed Comets responded well, downing fourth-seeded GW 15-0 behind a grand slam by Johanna Spencer and 11 other hits, in addition to a combined perfect game by pitchers Sam Gibson and Stephanie Clark, who faced the minimum 21 batters.
Halifax County High School (19-1 overall, 7-1 district) will host Franklin County High School at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Western Valley District Softball Tournament championship game.
Franklin County High School advanced to the tournament championship game with a win over Patrick Henry High School in last night’s other district tournament semifinal game.
Spencer finished with a grand slam home run and another RBI on a fielder’s choice, Jill Trickey finished with three hits and two RBI’s, and VeVe Brandon had two base hits.
Kate Bane, Jamilia Smith and Brittany Long added RBI base hits for the Comets, Jessie Bagbey had an RBI on a flyout, and Caitlin Lawhorn and Megan Day added singles.
Comets’ coach Melanie Saunders did not want her players to lose focus with a tough game on tap for Thursday, and the Comets started well with six runs on five hits in the first inning, taking advantage of three walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman in the process.
Two hits and two walks made it 8-0 after three innings, and the Comets added three runs on three hits and a walk in the fifth.
The Comets capped the scoring with two hits in the sixth, including Spencer’s grand slam home run.
Gibson pitched the first four innings for Halifax and Clark the final three frames, with Gibson fanning 10 batters and Clark six.
The Comets concentrated on getting good at-bats and stuck to the game plan for seven innings, according to Saunders.
“We wanted both our pitchers to pitch today, because you never know who we may need Thursday, and we were able to move the kids around,” she said.
“We bought up Kate Bane from jayvee and she played and did well for us. This was a good game for that and for her to get the nerves out before next week.
“The kids all got at least two at-bats, and we started working the bunts in certain situations.”
“It will be a totally different game day atmosphere on Thursday, she noted.
“Either team will come down here ready. It does matter what happens Thursday, we need to take that positive momentum and keep moving forward.”
“We don’t want to come out here win or lose and play flat and pick that momentum back up for Monday, so we’re going to practice hard tomorrow and come into Thursday just like we need that game to get to Monday,” continued Saunders.
“That’s the mentality we want our kids to have, for them to be focused and ready for Thursday and not worry about Monday.
“It’s take one game at a time, because you never know what may happen on any given day.”