Softball: LANE, LADY RAMS FORCE DECISIVE GAME 2
ETTRICK, Va. – Just give her the ball, and Brittany Lane
will do the rest.
After shouldering a staggering workload on Friday, Winston-Salem State ace Brittany Lane fired a two-hit shutout to force a decisive second game after a 1-0 win over Virginia State in the championship round as the Lady Rams seek their second straight CIAA Softball Championship on Saturday.
Lane, who earned the win after working the complete game in a 13-inning classic against Chowan on Friday, picked up two wins and a save after pitching 20 of Winston-Salem State’s 27 innings over three games on Friday.
She was just as spectacular in the championship round, and did it against the pitcher who entered the game as the league’s hottest hurler in the tournament.
In a game befitting a matchup between the league’s two aces, Lane remained nearly unhittable.
After working out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the first inning, she settled in and mowed down the Lady Trojans’ lineup, retiring 15 of the next 16 batters in order, and 21 of 23 to finish the game. Lane did not allow a Virginia State runner to reach second base after the first inning.
Virginia State ace Jessica Mattia remained sharp, and extended her scoreless inning streak at the CIAA Tournament to 23 innings before a throwing error by Lady Trojans first baseman Caitlin Underwood allowed Shantel Hawkins to cross home with the game’s only run with two outs in the top of the third inning.
The patient Lady Rams coaxed four walks out of Mattia, who finished her fourth tournament game without allowing an earned run, having led Virginia State to three straight 1-0 wins in tournament play entering Saturday’s first game. She allowed five hits and struck out three.
But Lane was masterful, retiring 11 straight in one stretch to make up for the lack of production against Mattia. Winston-Salem State was just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, stranding seven.