FUQUAY-VARINA — No matter how many wins a team has on the year, a season sweep of Fuquay-Varina’s softball team is never easy. So Middle Creek will enjoy this win for a little while.
The Mustangs finished the deal with a 5-2 road victory Thursday night.
The difficulty of doing so in any given year wasn’t lost on Mustangs coach – former Fuquay assistant – Robbie Wray.
“Until the last out’s made, with them, I don’t take anything for granted,” Wray said. “Anytime you can beat coach (Deb) Clarke and them twice – I mean, my goodness. They don’t have all these banners out here for nothing.”
The weather was an almost 50-degree improvement from the two team’s first meeting, a 13-11 slugfest where neither team’s pitchers could stay warm. After the first inning, it looked as though this game was heading the same way as both teams scored two runs.
Middle Creek got a two-RBI single from senior Emily Franks which was answered by an RBI double by Fuquay’s Paige Canfield and a RBI single by Heather Ratcliff.
A RBI single by sophomore Allie Burghardt put the Mustangs (9-3, 8-1) s up 3-2 in the second, while a two-RBI double by Kiley Majette made it 5-2 in the top of the fourth.
Majette settled down after giving up three hits in the first, allowing just two more the rest of the way. She ended with four strikeouts.
“It’s just the first inning. All the nerves are up and then they calm down because you get settled and used to pitching and being on the field,” Majette said. “There wasn’t as much pressure on me because we weren’t making errors and we were hitting the ball good.”
All nine Middle Creek batters had at least one hit on the evening, combining for 12.
“It got us some momentum to continue this for the rest of the season,” Franks said.
Middle Creek stands solidly in second place of the powerful Tri-9 Conference, which placed four teams in last year’s third round of the 4A playoffs. The Bengals (7-3, 7-3) are by themselves in third, but coach Deb Clarke says the league has other teams that can pull off an upset if not taken seriously.
“We’ve got to do a better job at the plate,” Clarke said. “We didn’t hit very well in our counts. When we had a 1-0 count, a 2-0 count, we were watching a strike instead of being aggressive and attacking a strike.”
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps