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Banks throttles Gaston in rare matchup

SOFTBALL: Jerry Mettee coaches his new team against his old team in a matchup of two local softball teams

In a rare showdown between two area teams, Banks and Gaston met on the softball diamond last Thursday to knock the rust off before both teams start league play in the coming weeks.

Although Gaston head coach Jerry Mettee - who coached at Banks for 10 years - had high hopes for his young team, the 2A Greyhounds were no match for the 4A Lady Braves and their talented senior pitcher, Cat Schorn.

Schorn struck out the first nine batters she faced and almost singlehandedly sparked Banks to a 10-0, six-inning win. She finished the game with 13 strikeouts and did not allow a baserunner through five innings before giving way to junior Janna Lee in the sixth.

'Cat was on line to throw a perfect game, but I had to pull her because we have some other girls who need experience,' said Banks head coach Emily Kent. 'Janna will be our only pitcher next year, so she needs to get some varsity experience.'

Shorn faced the minimum of 15 batters through five innings, and she also went 3 for 3 at the plate.

'Cat Schorn just took the game over,' Mettee said. 'She dominated the game, and I have to give her credit for that. It was the best I've seen her pitch in a while.'

Offensively, Banks nickel-and-dimed its way to the 10-run, mercy-rule victory. The Braves led 3-0 through three innings, then busted loose for six runs in the fifth. Banks scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game early.

'We had hits spread through the entire lineup,' Kent said. 'We were being aggressive and looking to hit for the first time all season. We haven't scored that many runs in a long time.'

Mettee was mostly impressed with Schorn's ability to shut down his lineup.

'Schorn had a great day. She was hitting the outside corner and spotting her pitches well,' Mettee said. 'Our hitters didn't adjust to that and we didn't compete the way I know we can. The game just kind of got away from us.'

Despite the lopsided final score, Mettee said the game was not a total loss, especially since Gaston's home field is still far too wet to host a game.

'It was still good for us,' he said. 'To be out there playing against a good team and a pitcher of that caliber - that's going to make us a better team in the long run.

'I certainly didn't feel like it was a waste of a day.'