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Comets fall in state semi-finals


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South Boston News
Lady Comet catcher Jo Spencer takes a cut in Tuesday's 15-0 WVD win over GW. (David Conner II photo)
SoVaNow.com / May 13, 2010
Melanie Saunders and the Halifax County High School varsity softball program control their destiny Friday.

Halifax has two district games remaining – including William Fleming next week – but the Comets need only to beat PH tomorrow night to clinch the district regular season title outright.

The Comets would then automatically qualify for the Northwest Regionals, and also host a first round regional game at home. Also, the Comets would be the top seed for the district tournament.

HCHS is 5-1 in the district and 15-1 overall.

HCHS took care of business against GW-Danville Tuesday night, as expected.

The Comets substituted at will and cruised to a 15-0 win. Halifax thumped GW twice this season.

Halifax got solid pitching from starter Stephanie Clark and reliever Samantha Gibson, who finished the last two innings. GW batters reached twice because of errors, but failed to get a hit. Clark fanned nine and five for Gibson.

Meanwhile, Halifax had absolutely no trouble scoring against GW, even as Saunders emptied her bench.

HCHS picked up three runs in the first, as Clark, Jamiesha Smith and Sydney Puryear all scored via GW wild pitches.

Halifax erupted in the second inning, scoring nine times. Jamiesha Smith had an RBI single, Puryear belted a two-run triple and Jo Spencer also lined a run-scoring single. Jill Trickey had a run-scoring single, Clark and Jameisha Smith had bases-loaded walks to get runs home.

HCHS scratched out four more runs to cruise to the slaughter rule win.

Now, it’s on to PH, with a regional berth on the line.

Saunders admitted, “We had to get through this (GW). The girls really are looking forward to Friday, but we’re doing one game at a time.”

HCHS got some benefits beyond a lopsided win over the Eagles.

“Both pitchers got to pitch in preparation for Friday, we’re getting to move people around the field again and give people chances to play defense and also chances to hit at the plate. So overall it was a very good game for us before Friday,” said Saunders.

Saunders noted the challenge ahead for the Comet girls.

“Friday’s a big game. There at PH, it’s always hard. It’s kind of like playing at Franklin County on the road. We’ve been playing really good on the road, so we’re excited about going there.

“We know that we’ll see a different game once we go there. Here, they (PH) made a lot of fielding errors and a lot of things that weren’t normal for them,” Saunders noted of PH’s loss in South Boston.

“We know when we go there, it’s going to be quite different,” said Saunders. “We’re looking forward to going up there and getting our pitchers working, catchers working, defense working, and just go up there and playing ball.”

Saunders is looking for a quick start tomorrow.

“I think the key is coming out and jumping on it early,” said Saunders.

“Our pitcher has to be on, whoever we use, to be able to move the ball around the plate. PH is a good hitting team and they beat FCHS 3-0, on a three-run homer.

HCHS could be forced into a complicated tie-breaker procedure should the Comets lose to the Pats today.

“We’ve got to go up there and we’ve got to be mentally focused and really ready to go,” said Saunders.



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