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Comets softball team blanks Franklin County 5-0

On a day when the Halifax County High School softball team needed a good afternoon at the plate, the bats were pinging.

Pounding out 11 hits, the Comets shut out Franklin County High School 5-0 Friday night at Halifax County High School to pick up their 10th win of the season.

"We needed that win," said Comets Head Coach Melanie Saunders, whose team is battling for one of the top seeds in the post-season Conference 16 tournament.

"It was a good win for us. I think we're in a good spot. I think our confidence level is coming up. We just need to make them (the players) believe in themselves just a little more. I feel like as we get our confidence level up we will be a team to be reckoned with."

The Comets certainly were a team to be reckoned with on this day.

In the bottom of the first inning Comets leadoff batter Kirsten Doss lofted a long fly ball over the head of Franklin County High School left fielder Kameron Cundiff for a double. Later, with one out, Comets pitcher Taylor Barnes smacked a double to score Doss and put the Comets up 1-0.

Doss' hit was the first of three hits for her in the game and the run-scoring hit by Barnes was the first of two hits for her.

"I just jumped on the first strike," Doss pointed out following what was one of her best offensive performances of the season.

"She (Saunders) teaches that. She (the Franklin County High School pitcher) was throwing fastballs down the middle on the first pitch."

Barnes had a good day on the mound, fanning five Franklin County High School batters and allowing four scattered hits and three walks. She helped herself offensively with two hits and an RBI.

"I love playing against Franklin County," Barnes remarked.

"They're a good hitting team, and it makes me feel good when I pitch well. I wasn't "on" like usual today, but I still had a pretty good day hitting-wise."

Barnes said it was good to see Doss have a good day at the plate.

"Kirsten came through and did well today," Barnes pointed out.

"She's been struggling a little bit, but she came through and got three hits. That was good for her."

Kye-Neisha Logan had two hits and an RBI and Amber Moore had two hits. Gabby Spainhour and Megan Watts had a hit each.

A run-scoring double by Doss in the bottom of the second inning gave the Comets a 2-0 lead. Another run-scoring double by Doss with two out in the bottom of the fourth inning put the Comets up 3-0.

The Comets finished the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the first on a run-scoring single by Spainhour and the final run coming when Logan smacked a double with two out to plate Spainhour and put the Comets up 5-0.

Saunders said she was pleased with the number of hits the team had in the game, but was disappointed that the players let a number of good pitches go by. Comets players watched seven first-pitch strikes go by in the first two innings.

"The only thing I leave with a little disappointment in tonight is that we watched a lot of strikes," Saunders said.

"Pitchers now have a lot of control over a game. You can't let good pitches go by. You've got to show that team and that pitcher that you're aggressive and will jump on strikes quickly.

"The (hitting) numbers looked good," added Saunders.

"We got hits, but we're still not swinging the bat like we're capable of doing. The girls know that."

Franklin County High School managed only four hits in the game, singles by Jordan Whitcomb in the first and third innings, a double by Mackenzie Chitwood in the fourth inning and a hit by Sara Brown in the fifth inning. One Eagles runner made it as far as third base.

"Taylor (Halifax County High School pitcher Taylor Barnes) kept us off balance," said Franklin County High School Head Coach Bryan Forbes after the loss that dropped the Eagles' record to 8-7 on the season.

"She's a great pitcher and we just didn't get that one hit we needed to make an inning big. Taylor did what she had to do. She did her job.

"I told our girls when you play good teams you've got to make all of the plays," Forbes continued.

"We just didn't make all of the plays today. It's a battle when we come down here. We weren't expecting anything different."