Suffolk softball All-Stars win strange no-hitter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

In softball, no-hitters are often one-sided affairs, games in which the top-pitching team runs away with the game. But when the Bennett’s Creek (BC) 9-10 All-Star softball team kept the Churchland squad out of the hit column on Tuesday night at Driver Elementary School, things didn’t quite work out that way.

Yes, BC pitchers Kelsey Ritter, Heather Arnett and Krista Wenrick recorded 12 strikeouts. Sure, the BC defense only had to field three batted balls. But the BC girls still needed a three-run jaunt in the bottom of the fifth inning to escape with a 13-12 win, their first victory of the District 6 tournament. Churchland, which grabbed an early 8-2 advantage and never let BC get ahead until the fifth, scored nearly all of their runs on walks and struck batters.

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Kaytlynn Heroux and Megan Davidson scored on errors for Churchland in the first, but BC came right back in their half of the inning. Holly Bunch reached on an error, and stole her way to third. Kayla Coburn bunted her home, and Kristen Moore smashed a towering fly ball into centerfield, and scored when Holly Dudney reached on an error.

In the second inning, however, the Portsmouth team nearly walked away with the game, scoring six runs off six walks and three hit batswomen. After Churchland batted around, Moore and her teammates tried to psyche themselves back up.

&uot;We felt a little bad,&uot; said the Oakland Elementary School student. &uot;We just had to try and get some runs.&uot; She helped them do so in the second, bashing a double to centerfield to score Bunch and Coburn.

A bases-loaded walk brought Churchland another run in the third, but BC made its first offensive movement. Dudney singled, and stole her way home. Wenrick and Alex Keiser walked, and Taylor Benson hammered a triple down the left field line to bring them in. Benson scored on an infield single by Bunch, and Ritter singled in Coburn to tie the score.

Aleah Culpepper and Ashley Johnson scored for Churchland, but Coburn knocked the lead back down to one in the bottom of the fourth. On the mound, Wenrick held Churchland scoreless for the first time in the fifth, and BC made its final run.

Benson singled, and Moore doubled her in to tie the score at 11. Moore stole third, and Dudney bunted her in. Ritter walked, and scored on a double by Wenrick for a 13-11 advantage, BC’s biggest yet.

Churchland wouldn’t give up, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth. Wenrick struck out Johnson, but Bianca Ward drew a walk to force home Bobbi Jones. Wenrick struck out Churchland pitcher Ashley Dorbecker, and Heroux headed to the plate.

Wenrick tossed a strike, then upped the count to 1-2. Her next pitch flew high over Heroux’s head, and her fourth hurl was slightly outside, filling the count.

&uot;I just concentrated on getting the ball in there,&uot; Wenrick said. &uot;I was a little rattled after they scored.&uot;

She wound up and tossed her final pitch, which rose as it neared the plate. &uot;I thought it was going to be a ball,&uot; Wenrick said. &uot;It looked like it was too high.&uot; Fortunately, the pitch flew right over Heroux’s swinging bat, and BC had made it. Their next game will be at 6 p.m. today at Driver.