McVeigh keeps Lady 'Dogs hitless in UH shutout

By Wes Holtsclaw

   No-hitters are a good thing in softball. Just ask University High's sophomore ace Cori McVeigh.
   Backed behind an almost perfect performance from the mound, the University High Lady Bucs held the Hampton Lady Bulldogs hitless and dominated offensively en route to a 20-0 victory on Monday.
   McVeigh tossed seven strikeouts and had a perfect contest until an infield error during the fourth inning of her outing.
   "Hampton did a good job putting the ball in play," said McVeigh. "Our defense battled and backed me up out there. It was a good win."
   University High's bats rolled through the first two innings and seemed to immediately catch Hampton off guard early in the contest.
   "You have a tough outing occasionally," said Hampton coach Pat Kelly. "Their pitcher was on today and she threw it across the plate time after time. We made some mistakes early and couldn't recover. We'll continue to work at it."
   University High coach Josh Petty was pleased with the team's effort at Hampton.
   "McVeigh tossed a no-hitter for us," said Petty. "Hampton played hard and our kids were able to get some hits at good times. We were fortunate that way."
   University High opened up with a walk to Jessica McNutt and followed with six straight hits.
   Tori Crane and Duff Reardon loaded the bases, setting up RBI singles from Stacy Keller and Megan Backers. Reardon and Keller took advantage of wild throws, scoring two more runs for the Lady Bucs.
   Cori Dodson contributed a single before Brittany Carson took initiative with a two-run double. An Elizabeth Bradley walk set up two more RBI singles from McNutt and Crane to wind out University High's scoring with an 8-0 lead after one.
   The Lady Bucs picked things back up in the second inning after Hampton got two straight outs.
   Three pitchers battled through the University High lineup during the second go-round as the Lady Bucs took seven walks, setting up singles from Backers and McNutt.
   The biggest shot of the inning came from Crane, who slammed a two-run double, giving the blue and gold a 16-0 lead.
   The Lady Bucs scored at the top of the third after another big Crane shot. This time a deep homer into right field, taking a 17-0 lead.
   Hampton got on base in the fourth inning after Kristine Newbern ripped a shot towards the Lady Buc second baseman, which made an infield error.
   Newbern stole her way around the bases, but was held to a strong pitching comeback.
   University High scored three runs in the fifth inning behind an RBI single from Backers and a two-run shot from McNutt to take the 20-0 lead.
   The Lady Bulldogs were held in their final round of batting to preserve the victory for the Lady Bucs.
   It was a solid hitting game for Tori Crane, who had a four of four outing with a homer, double and four RBIs.
   "Our team played well over all," Crane said. "We played our best and got a bunch of good hits."
   Petty believes his squad is on the right track for the remainder of their season.
   "Overall we've played well," he said. "We lost two close games and went to Myrtle Beach and played good in a tournament down there. I think it will pay off come tournament time."
   The Lady Bucs travel to Cloudland on Tuesday, while Hampton hosts Sullivan Central.