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Victory over Fleming gives Comets boost for stretch of road games

The story Tuesday in the Western Valley District opener for the Halifax County High School varsity softball team may not have been the 12-0 win the Comets posted over William Fleming High School at home.

Instead, remarks after the game focused on how the first complete game in over two weeks has helped them prepare for a tough stretch of road games the next week, including a district game at Patrick Henry High School today, at Person High School in a breast cancer awareness non-district game on Saturday and at Franklin County High School on Tuesday in another key district game.

“We’ve gone almost two weeks, and we got two innings in against Amherst County, so it’s just good to get out here and play,” commented Comets Head Coach Melanie Saunders.

“Fleming tried the best they can, and a lot can be learned from this type of game.  The kids have to wait and have patience and learn sportsmanship.

“Once we start getting into a rhythm and start having games a couple of days a week and face live pitching its going to come together.

“The kids are working hard, and they’re understanding momentum has to come up and stay up.”

The Comets took advantage of two walks, a hit batsman, an RBI single by Meg Bane and RBI groundouts by Megan Puckett and Courtney Epps to score its first four runs.

An Ashley Watts base hit, single by Hannah Saunders, two-run triple by Cecilie Elliott, RBI single by Tayler Mosley and double by Miyana Ross made it 8-0 after one inning.

A two-run second inning made it 10-0, the runs coming off a leadoff single by Bane, RBI groundout by Epps and singles by Saunders (RBI) and Mosley.

Epps singled in the third and Halifax added a run in the fourth when Elliott reached on an error and Cori Campbell singled, with Elliott scoring on a bases loaded walk.

Barnes and Epps worked three and two innings, respectively for the Comets, neither allowing a hit, and with Barnes striking out seven batters and Epps five.

Neither hurler allowed a walk.

”The district is where it’s at, and the district is where it matters,” Saunders said.

“Our dugout was louder, and our defense behind the pitchers was louder, and those are little things you sometimes forget about until they’re not there.

“We were able to pitch both pitchers and move kids around the field in a game situation.

“You can do it in practice all the time, but until you get into a game situation you really don’t know what they can do.”

After dealing with less than ideal playing conditions the past several weeks, the team is gaining momentum and confidence as the key stretch of games approaches, according to Bane, a senior captain.

“We came out and we had energy.  Fleming is improved, has better energy this season and has better coaching,” Bane said.

“Over spring break we had that hail storm come in, and we had a two-week layoff, so trying to come back and get the momentum was key.

“That’s what we did.”