It was a pitchers’ duel that fans, players and coaches will talk about for a long time.
Heritage High avenged a one-run loss to Wake Forest on April 2 by handing the Cougars their first defeat of the season Tuesday night, a 2-0 win in an epic showdown. The Huskies are 10-1 in the Cap-8 4A, and Wake Forest sits at 8-1, a 12-game winning streak coming to an end.
Heritage senior Laura Williams got the win, going the distance, giving up just four hits. Chelsey Cunningham of Wake Forest took the loss, going seven innings, also giving up just four hits. Cunningham struck out six batters.
All of the firepower Heritage needed took place in the first inning. Laura Sales started the game with a triple deep to left field, setting the tone for the visitors. Jordan Gontram was hit by a pitch. Sales then came home after a wild throw from the Cougars to the backstop, and Gontram came home when Imani Rochelle hit a single, giving the Huskies the 2-0 lead. Little did fans know that would be it.
The rest of the game was a defensive clinic from the teams.
The Cougars missed a golden opportunity to get on the board in the second inning. Anna Wolfe got on with a single. Katy Holt drew a walk and Shawn Ayers singled to load the bases. Wolfe, though, was thrown out attempting to go home and Erin McDonald was thrown out a first, the final out of the inning, leaving three runners on for Wake Forest.
The teams would go hitless for the next three innings. McDonald ended the drought in the fifth with a single, but the Cougars would end the inning empty-handed again. Heritage threatened in the sixth when Rochelle found a gap between short and third, but Wake Forest would hold. In the seventh, Cassidy Henault blasted a double, then stole third, but Wake Forest got two more outs, leaving Henault on base, heading into the final half-inning.
The Huskies’ defense would hold strong, though, like it had all evening.
Williams struck out Jessie Barbour for the first out. Holt, the next Wake Forest batter, belted a shot to center field, but Isis Amon made an outstanding catch at the fence for out No. 2. Ayers was up next and popped out to Gontram, setting off a celebration on the mound for the Huskies.
Heritage will returns to action Wednesday at Holly Springs and Wake Forest will look to bounce back when it travels to Broughton.