TRINITY — An impressive display by a then-unbeaten team left Wheatmore on the wrong end of a 16-0 game with Eastern Randolph last week.
The Wildcats tallied three runs in the first inning, five in the second and eight in the third to propel Eastern Randolph to a three-inning shutout. Savannah Beaver was perfect through those three innings, facing the minimum while striking out six Warriors.
In the circle for Wheatmore, Carmen Turgeon coaxed a few ground balls and never was tattooed, but defensive miscues led to unearned runs and things snowballed for the Warrior starter.
“I think the biggest takeaway is she really pitched well,” Wheatmore coach Jonathan Evans said. “She changed speeds as well as she’s done it all season. She hit spots as well as she’s done all season. That’s a phenomenal lineup, and that team is probably going to play for a state championship. For a freshman to just go out and get them to hit the ball weakly, it says a lot about that kid.
“I think as far as positives go, it’s the way she pitched. And I thought our catcher did a good job of working with her as well.”
The Warriors simply ran into a buzzsaw. Coming into the contest, the Wildcats had ripped off 11 straight wins and topped the PAC-7 2-A Conference, which does not lack for exceptional teams. Randleman and Providence Grove join Eastern Randolph at the top of the standings, and all are challenging outs every time they take the field.
Meanwhile, Wheatmore and Jordan Matthews are in the middle tier of teams in the league and have matched up twice. The Jets won the first contest in walk-off fashion, while the Warriors avenged the earlier defeat Monday with a 7-3 victory of their own.
“That’s the game that we were looking forward to,” Evans said of the rematch with Jordan Matthews. “We knew coming into the season that we had three great — probably top 15 — teams in the state in this conference. We knew that us and Jordan Matthews were probably going to be battling it out for fourth place.
“We put a circle around this game. This is where all the arrows were pointing for us, that’s where it was all building.”
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.