CARY — There's a fire in her eyes and a blaze to her fastball.
Sophomore pitcher Devin Wallace provided the pitching and the power hitting, leading Middle Creek to a 10-0 six-inning win over Leesville Road Tuesday night in an NCHSAA 4A third-round playoff game at Middle Creek Athletic Complex.
Wallace allowed just an Ally Astorino double and two other baserunners in six stellar innings in which she recorded eight strikeouts. She also belted a solo home run over the left field fence in the second inning for the Mustangs’ first run in an eventual rout that ended Leesville Road's season at 13-5.
Wallace said she was pumped up from the get-go because of the understandable excitement of the Pride, a No. 3 seed, who came in seeking to knock off the more heralded No. 1 Mustangs.
“We heard the other team screaming before the game and it just got me and my teammates more motivated,” Wallace said. “There was plenty of excitement out here and we wanted to get the job done.”
Lily Morris added a two-run single to right in the fourth as Middle Creek (19-2) expanded its lead to 4-0 in the fourth before ending the contest with six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kiley Majette had the key hit in that frame, ripping a two-run single as things unraveled for Pride starter Avery Morris and her teammates.
Lily Morris said she was confident of having success at the plate, even in such an important game that returned the Mustangs to the fourth round of the state playoffs for a second consecutive season.
“I've been working hard at the batting cages and seeing the ball well,” said Morris, a sophomore. “I've been expecting this because I've been putting in the effort.”
Middle Creek coach Robbie Wray has almost come to expect Wallace to be outstanding from the circle, so he was particularly pleased with his team's offense.
“The difference was our patience and discipline at the plate,” Wray said. “It paid off today.”
There was sadness and some tears shed as Leesville Road packed up its gear for the final time of the season, but coach Leigh Ann Genetti knew her team was overmatched.
“Wallace was overpowering and we didn't make the adjustments we needed to at the plate,” Genetti said. “But overall I'm still really proud of this team for having tons of mental and physical growth this season.”