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RiverCitySports

VIDEO: Chatham’s Liggon gives up one hit in five innings in Cavaliers’ rout of Nelson County in Dogwood District opener Friday night

There’s also nothing ordinary about a freshman pitcher throwing a one-hitter, which is exactly what Chatham’s Cora Liggon did Friday night, so it would only make sense she credited senior catcher Abigail Tiffany’s sense of humor for her success in the Cavaliers’ Dogwood District opener against Nelson County …

CHATHAM, Va. — It’s a normal occurrence to hear a pitcher give her catcher and coaches credit for a solid performance in the circle. What’s not so usual is to hear the same pitcher credit her catcher’s sense of humor for a brilliant game.

There’s also nothing ordinary about a freshman pitcher throwing a one-hitter, which is exactly what Chatham’s Cora Liggon did Friday night, so it would only make sense she credited senior catcher Abigail Tiffany’s sense of humor for her success in the Cavaliers’ Dogwood District opener against Nelson County.

Liggon pitched five innings of one-hit, one-run ball and struck out nine and Chatham’s bats took care of the rest in a 12–2 rout of the Governors in six innings in the ‘Cavs’ home opener as well.

Liggon took a no-hitter into the fifth before it was broken up by junior Rachel Thompson’s two-out single.

Chatham’s Abigail Owen, Bralynn Patterson and Cora Liggon talk about the Cavaliers’ rout of Nelson County, how it feels to start Dogwood District play with a win and their individual performances after their win over the Governors Friday night. VIDEO: Davin Wilson/River City Sports.

“Just focus and [Abby] helps me out a lot, she’s very motivational behind the plate, she’s always joking around and that keeps everything loose,” Liggon said.

Of course, such a pitching performance wouldn’t be possible without effective pitch calling from the catcher and coaches as well.

“They were really good, the certain hitters they had different pitches and it was just a good selection.”

It was another impressive win for Chatham (2–1, 2–0 Dogwood) who opened its season with a win over perennial contender Tunstall in its season opener a few weeks back.

According to sophomore Bralynn Patterson, the Cavaliers’ start has them feeling confident but not cocky.

“When we can beat teams like Nelson County and Tunstall, it gives us the confidence to know we can win every game but not in a cocky way,” Patterson said smiling.

The Cavaliers took a tough one on the chin Tuesday night against Magna Vista, leaving the ‘Cavs feeling a bit down entering the game. However, you can’t have the sweet without the bitter and Chatham’s rout of Nelson County (0–2, 0–1) provided a little sweetener for the Cavaliers.

“It was great, especially after our last game,” Liggon said smiling.

Senior Abigail Owen took over from there, adding, “Yeah, we definitely came out and bounced back after that last one and it feels really great.”

Playing in its home opener, Chatham wasted little time stealing the advantage, scoring a pair of runs in the first to take control. Plate patience was key for the Cavaliers as sophomore Trinity Custer and senior Alyssa Terry worked bases-loaded walks to give the ‘Cavs a 2–0 lead. In all, Chatham worked eight walks in the frame.

Keeping the momentum rolling, the Cavaliers plated four runs in the second to build a six-run cushion. Owen got the scoring started with her bases-loaded walk and sophomore Nicole Emerson increased the ‘Cavs’ lead to four when she stole home. Coach Allie Reid continued her bravery on the base paths, calling for another steal of home that ended in Patterson’s swipe and a five-run advantage. Liggon helped her own cause when she rounded out the scoring with her RBI groundout to short that made it a 6–0 contest.

The Cavaliers kept the scoring going in the third, plating a pair of runs on Emerson’s RBI triple and Patterson’s run-scoring single to left that gave the ‘Cavs an 8–0 cushion.

“I really don’t think when I hit, I just try to stay focused,” Patterson said. “It’s whatever my hands tell me to do.”

Thompson’s two-run single to center in the fifth broken up Liggon’s no-hit and shutout bids and made it an 8–2 contest. Chatham was quick to make sure Nelson County didn’t keep the momentum, scoring three runs in its half of the fifth to take a nine-run cushion. Owen drove in her second run of the game with her RBI single to right and Liggon gave Chatham a 10–2 lead with her bases-loaded walk.

“When I go up to the plate, I just erase everything from my mind and I’m just here to play and I got to do everything with my teammates and do my job,” Owen said.

Patterson and Tiffany led the Cavaliers with a pair of hits apiece while Owen paced Chatham with two RBIs.

Liggon got the win in the circle while Custer closed out the sixth.

Thompson led the Governors with a pair of RBIs.

Chatham returns to action March 30 when it continues Dogwood play against Appomattox County at 6 p.m.

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