Moments after Apex Friendship’s softball team defeated Cary, the Patriots gathered at home plate for a team photo with big and happy smiles.
But there was no trophy at the center of the pose. This moment recognized history as the program’s first victory at the first-year high school comprised of sophomores and freshmen. After a 0-4 start, Apex Friendship defeated Cary 12-5 Monday night on the Imps’ field in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference game.
“I had a lot of faith in this team once I saw everybody during tryouts,” said winning pitcher Karen Dusterberg. “I didn’t ever think we’d have a 0-16 team. I knew it was just a matter of time.”
The win had added meaning to Dusterberg, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery on March 4, 2015 to repair the ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. She missed her freshman year last season at Apex and needed a second surgery in August due to nerve damage. But she began throwing lightly in December.
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Apex Friendship was clinging to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth until the Patriots scored eight runs with two outs. The big hit was sophomore center fielder Alyssa Yerman’s grand slam to left-center field for a 6-0 advantage. It looked like Cary center fielder Sara Beck had a shot at the high fly, but the ball carried just enough to clear the fence that is 250 feet all the way around the outfield.
“There was a little pressure,” Yerman said of batting with the bases loaded and two outs. “I just trusted my swing. I got under it a little bit, but luckily it went over.”
A fielding error and throwing error contributed to the eight runs.
Three to know
Kelsianne Schmidt, Cary: The third baseman was 2 of 4 with two runs scored and one RBI. She also pitched in relief to end Apex Friendship’s’ eight-run fourth inning.
Vicki Bentancur, Cary: The catcher was 2 of 4 with one run scored.
Megan Plowman, Apex Friendship: The third baseman looked like Brooks Robinson on back-to-back plays. She charged the plate fearlessly to field a bunt and made a quick to throw to first to beat the runner. On the next play, she knocked down a shot over third base and threw from her knees for the putout. She also scored two runs and knocked in one.
They said it
“It’s been a tough battle, and I’m so happy to be back pitching. It’s been tough not being able to pitch for a year after surgery. It’s so exciting.” – Dusterberg.
Out of bounds
The only disappointment for Apex Friendship’s players was celebrating their first win came on the road. The game was scheduled at Apex Friendship, but the field was too wet from Monday night’s heavy rainstorm.