Carlisle pitches no-hitter

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 5, 2003

Brittany Carlisle earned a win in the second championship game Monday night to lead Charles Henderson to the sectional championship.

However, despite her solid five innings of work, allowing one run on two hits and one walk in the Trojans' 11-1 win over Escambia County, her best performance game in the biggest game of the day.

In Charles Henderson's first game of the day, also against Escambia County, Carlisle out dueled

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Escambia County ace Cassie Lassiter for a 2-0 win. The win kept the Trojans in the winner's bracket and forced Escambia County to have to try to beat CHHS twice to win the championship. Escambia won the first one but CHHS took the second one.

Lassiter pitched well enough to win, surrendering only one earned run on just three hits.

But Carlisle was simply unbeatable. She struck out 11 batters and did not allow a single hit.

"It's my first no-hitter this season," the junior pitcher said. "I did throw one when I was 12, but none since then."

Carlisle retired the first nine batters she faced and only walked three batters. She did not give her team mates many chances to commit errors as she struck out the side in order twice and forced three pop-ups. Carlisle did not even let Escambia hit the ball hard enough to ground out until the sixth inning.

"I had a fastball and a riseball out there," Carlisle said. "The last couple of innings I used my change up."

Carlisle did not have the benefit of a cushy lead, though, and had to sweat through each inning. Claire Goodson and Ashton Spann led off the first inning with consecutive walks - on only eight pitches - and Goodson scored on an Allie Park sacrifice fly to right field. The Trojans did not score again until the top of the seventh inning.

"The two runs were fine, but the pressure is always tougher on a pitcher when you don't have many runs," Carlisle said. "I knew about the no-hitter, but I was really hoping they wouldn't score."

Carlisle did not even allow a runner to second base. Of course, as with any no-hitter, she had some help from her defense.

She allowed her first base runner in the fourth on a full-count walk. CHHS catcher Samantha Johnson – who may have had some pointers from her brother Wes Johnson at Pike Lib – gunned down the runner trying to steal second. Shorts stop Andrea Ellis applied the spectacular tag on the play.

In the sixth inning, Escambia County's Myekiea Burt lined a shot to right field. Spann, playing second for the Trojans, snagged the ball to record the out.

"When I saw it hit, I thought I was going to fall apart," Carlisle said. "I'm just thankful for all my teammates."

Perhaps a sign of the Escambia County frustrations, the fans cheered loudly for the lineout. It was the closest thing to a hit they were going to see.

"She was outstanding," CHHS coach Steve Haug said. "She did what she had to."

Without her performance in the first game of the day, the Trojans would have had to play four straight games like Escambia did.

"That game was the key, there's no question," Haug said. "You have to stay in the winner's bracket."

Thanks to Carlisle, the Trojans were able to do just that.