Wolfpack emerge unscathed in win
By Stephen Fastenau | Columbia County Bureau
Thursday, October 01, 2009

Greenbrier softball players sat cross-legged behind home plate Wednesday after their final regular-season game, preparing to honor their seniors after a 5-0 victory over rival Evans.

But Greenbrier coach Garrett Black first solicited a round of light-hearted applause for no injuries suffered during the game.

Black's team lost multiple key players to injury during the season but seems to have settled in with the remaining players as the Wolfpack prepare for the Region 2-AAAAA Tournament, which starts next week at Patriots Park.

Pitcher Katie Tracy struck out 13 and fellow senior Kaila Hunt doubled in her first three at-bats to lead the Wolfpack to a rare comfortable victory over their rivals.

"I usually get nervous (facing Evans)," Tracy said. "But I knew we had it after that (sixth) inning."

The Wolfpack lost all-state second baseman Ashlyn Masters for the season after she tore up her knee before the season began. Since then, the losses have mounted.

The first time the teams met, Greenbrier third baseman Lauren Masters was lost for the season after injuring her shoulder.

But after a defensive shuffle, the Wolfpack seem to have found the right combination in the field. It begins with Tracy in the circle, which allows Savanah Coon, the Wolfpack's No. 2 pitcher, to play third.

"We like what we have, especially when Katie's on the mound," Black said. "We're pretty strong defensively. They've made adjustments all year long."

Evans has been without all-state pitcher Jenny Shepherd since early September, when Shepherd underwent knee surgery. The Knights senior was in the lineup Wednesday but did not pitch.

The Wolfpack took advantage.

Greenbrier scored three runs in the third on five hits. Senior Marya Blackledge started the run with a single from the ninth spot. Rachel Nimmons followed with a base hit and Hunt drove in a run with her second double.

The Wolfpack added a run in each the fifth and sixth inning, the last coming on junior Rachel Nimmons' RBI triple.

Evans sophomore Brooke Sarver, who has pitched in Shepherd's absence, started for the Knights and struck out five.

Tracy was dominant during her final regular season outing. She faced the minimum number of batters in all but two innings and allowed two hits and a walk.

"Whatever they weren't hitting, I was just throwing that," Tracy said.

Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165, ext. 116 or stephen.fastenau@augustachronicle.com.

From the Thursday, October 01, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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