Evans High pitcher Meredith Weare pitched a no-hitter against Lakeside High School last Tuesday.
OK, there's no way local prep softball fans will ever forget Adrienne Daniels, the best pitcher Evans High School has produced to date.
But last week at Lakeside High School, Evans junior Meredith Weare made a name for herself, and her performance Tuesday against the Lady Panthers proved the right-hander is ready to take up where Daniels left off.
Weare tossed a no-hitter with nine strikeouts to lead the Lady Knights to a 1-0 win.
"I really didn't think about a no-hitter," said Weare, who likewise isn't worried about following in Daniels' footsteps.
"I don't think about what anyone else has done," she said. "I just see what I can do."
Despite having arthroscopic surgery on her right ankle last summer, Weare can do plenty. Her fastball clocks in at 64 mph, and her curve kept Lakeside at bay.
The Lady Panthers, meanwhile, were ready for their local rivals. Freshman pitcher Jori McMurtrey worked four hitless innings, and senior Ashlee Pate allowed only one hit the rest of the way.
"I was pleased with our pitching," Lakeside coach Jay Matthews said. "Hitting-wise, we have to cut down on our strikeouts and put the ball in play."
Evans senior Anna Cheely led off the top of the fifth with a single in front of home plate, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrea Potocik. On the play, Cheely charged for third, and was called safe after jarring the ball from McMurtrey's glove.
Weare stepped to the plate and recorded an RBI ground out for the game's only run.
Lady Knight shortstop Bekah Gibbs sealed the no-hitter with a pair of sparkling putouts in the final inning.
The contest at Lakeside started a three-game stretch where Evans tangles with county rivals. The Lady Knights played host to Harlem Thursday, and will travel to Greenbrier for a 6 p.m. matchup Monday.
After moving into an Atlanta-based region in two seasons ago, local games have been limited for the Lady Knights.
Evans coach Colette Cassedy, however, tried to play down the "county bragging rights" theme, saying, "Any game you do well in gives you a boost. Every game is equal, and they'd better approach every game the same way, whether its against a local team or a team from Alaska."
Playing in Alaska would have been nice, as Lakeside and Evans labored on a sweltering summer day last week.
"They did not seem very intense, which surprised me," Cassedy said. "I think that had a lot to do with the heat. It was just draining them bad."
Lakeside coach Jay Matthews, on the other hand, says it's always a treat to square off with Evans.
"This brings a little more intensity than a regular game," he said. "The thing about it is, we have so many freshmen and sophomores, I'm not sure they understand the rivalry yet. After today, they can see how much it means to the seniors."
Both Evans and Lakeside opened their seasons with out-of-town tournaments, with the Lady Panthers getting off to a 2-0 start before Tuesday's loss. The Lady Knights improved to 5-2.
The teams will meet again on Oct. 10 at Evans.
In the meantime, Lakeside will begin its Region 3-AAAA schedule this week with a home game against Statesboro.
"I told the girls after the game, right now our record is 0-0," Matthews said. "Our first region game is Thursday against Statesboro, and those are the games that matter."
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