The Blake Vick Show: Vance County flies past Louisburg

Apr. 17—LOUISBURG — Some say strikeouts are selfish, that you should pitch to contact and let your defense work around you — not Blake Vick.

She controlled the game from the rubber, holding Louisburg to just one run as Vance County trampled the Warriors 11-1.

"Blake is Blake," said Vance County head coach Sheila Gill who has coached Vick since her freshman year. "Today she was a little off, but when she got into it, she stayed into it."

Like the quarterback in football, the pitcher on the diamond is the epicenter of the game. Everyone stops and waits until you're ready to start the action. For Vick, the game really does revolve around her. The best pitcher and slugger on the team, Vick is Vance County's Shohei Ohtani. Other teams only get as much as Vick allows.

With the dominance that Vick displays when holding the reins, Gill has to remind her defense to stay ready, as sometimes they can go a couple of innings without seeing any action.

"Blake is the type, she's going to do all she can just to save them," said Gill. "If the ball is hit to you, just be ready. They understand that — they see how hard she's working on the mound and they appreciate it."

After grounding out with the bases loaded to end the side, Vick took to the rubber to redeem herself. With her head coach urging her to let the game come to her, Vick responded with a strikeout to start the next slide.

But Vick's concentration wavered for a moment as she let up a walk. Then, after another strikeout, a wild pitch moved the runner to second. Two more walks loaded the bases. But just as she got herself into this jam, she was gonna get herself out — a first pitch strike.

"Hey girl, give me two more," sophomore Da'Shunti Hester yelled to her pitcher from left field.

Strike two.

"Give me one more, girl," said Hester.

A swing but a foul ball. Then — boom. Vick rang the batter up looking with a knee-buckling pitch to strand all the runners she walked to close the inning, barely letting her defense or the Warriors touch the ball.

The Vipers, up 3-1, started the third inning with a standup double from Jakhiyah "Khi" Evans. A groundout from Charlotte Wortham moved Evans over to third and then a base hit from Hester batted her in — flawless offensive execution from the Vipers to go up 4-1.

Vick retook the mound for Vance County in the fourth with Jayla Smith backing her up behind the plate. With one out and a runner on first, Vick arced a payoff pitch perfectly down the middle of the zone for another swingless strikeout.

"Way to work, Blake," Gill yelled in approval.

Looking to take another batter down on the next AB, but instead Vick gave up a blooper toward third handled by Terry, before the game paused for an official bathroom break.

After the pause in the action, the Vipers poured it on as the bats got rolling in the fifth. The lead ballooned to a blowout and the 10-run lead forced an early stoppage against a strong conference opponent.

Now at 7-3 on the year, holding the third-place spot in the conference, Gill is much happier with the focus level and defensive intensity from her team as of late. The Vipers will have an exciting matchup on Wednesday, facing face some across-town competition when they play Vance Charter at the Oxford Park Athletics Complex

Holding a conference record of 7-2, the Vipers are looking to edge out Louisburg for the second-place spot behind South Granville.


Blake Vick (Sr.) — 9 K, 4 BB, 1-3, 1 RBI

Zari Terry (So.) — 3-4, 3B, BB

Jakhiyah Evans (Sr.) — 3-4, 3B, 3 RBI