By Jeff Nations
WOODSTOCK -- Sydney Plum got a nice surprise on Thursday night.
Minutes after finishing off visiting Stonewall Jackson in a 12-0 mercy-rule shortened softball victory, the Central senior pitcher learned that what she thought was a one-hit shutout was in fact a five-inning no-hitter.
Plum put that thought out of her mind in the top of the first, when Generals leadoff hitter Kaylin Miller sent a chopper to the left side that got through to the outfield. Plum and Falcons coach Lisa Rhodes figured that was a hit.
"She and I both had the perception that it was a hit," Rhodes said. "We were both surprised to see that it was scored as an error."
Otherwise, Plum made quick work of Stonewall Jackson (0-3) in the pitching circle and at the plate. In five innings, she struck out seven Generals while issuing a pair of walks. In three trips to the plate, Plum was 3-for-3 and just a double shy of a cycle as she collected a home run, a triple and a single to finish with three RBIs.
Central (3-1) jumped on Stonewall Jackson starting pitcher Lindsay Shifflett for two-first inning runs.
The Falcons really broke loose in the bottom of the third with an eight-run rally.
"They weren't hitting the ball very well early in the game, and I told them that," Rhodes said. "They answered that and started knocking the tar out of the ball."
Plum opened the rally with a two-run home run, then Central's Mariyah Viar, Bekah Ansbro and Brooke Sager followed with doubles to plate two more runs. Katelyn Poston drove in another run with a single and Morgan Davis followed suit with an RBI double.
Shennan Waldron's sacrifice fly brought home Poston for the seventh run of the inning, and Plum capped the scoring with an RBI triple.
Then in the fourth, Ansbro singled and advanced two bases on a throwing error before scoring on Kylie Stottlemyer's run-scoring single. Poston drove in the game's final run with a sacrifice fly.
Ansbro was 2-for-3 with a double and Poston was 2-for-4 for the Falcons, who finished with 11 hits in the game.
Shifflett pitched all five innings for the Generals and took the loss. It was the second no-hitter in a week for Plum, who combined with Ansbro to no-hit Rappahannock County on Tuesday.
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com>