The first win took nearly a week to earn. The second came in just over an hour.
Finishing a game from April 5 that was suspended in the fourth inning because of bad weather, the East Chapel Hill softball team defeated Cedar Ridge 19-2 and then won a second game against the Red Wolves 16-1 Monday afternoon.
“The weather really affected (Cedar Ridge) a lot,” said East Chapel Hill coach Joe Simmons, whose team led 14-0 in the first game before it was resumed. “And they didn’t start the game as well as they could have and we were able to capitalize early.”
East Chapel Hill’s Katie Agatucci, a junior who does a bit of everything for the Wildcats, recorded the final six outs of the first game and then followed that effort with three doubles in the second contest.
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With the pair of victories, East Chapel Hill (8-3, 5-1 PAC-6 4A) has won three straight games after losing to Orange and Northern Durham.
The loss was the third in a row for Cedar Ridge (2-7, 2-1 Big 8 3A), which is learning to cope with the absence of star pitcher Rivers Andrews, who is out with a hip injury.
While Agatucci normally pitches for the Wildcats, Simmons decided to throw junior Geena Kennihan in the run-rule-shortened second game and she performed well, giving up one run over four innings of work, while stranding five baserunners.
“We’re going to need her down the stretch and she stepped up real big,” Simmons said. “She’s a different style pitcher; she’s not going to beat you with power, but she beats you with a lot of movement.”
Kennihan’s teammates provided plenty of offensive support and she even helped out her own cause, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Junior Katie Characklis led the Wildcats with five RBIs on two hits in the second game, while junior Grace Vincent and sophomore Violet Kehoe each had three-hit games, too.
Cedar Ridge sophomore Taylor Barnes, who has become the Red Wolves’ main pitcher since Andrews’ injury, did the bulk of the work on the mound for her team Monday.
“This game was obviously not our best, but most of the time we do work with what we have,” Barnes said. “We are missing four of our key starters. This season, we were progressing, but today was just a downfall for us.”