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Brookville got some help from a Seminole foe while tending to business on its own diamond. As a result, the Bees were in sole possession of first place prior to their game with second-place JF (Tuesday, after press time).
The Bees took care of Staunton River in impressive fashion, 14-3, and then learned that Forest had fallen from the first place tie with the Bees.
Brookville was hitting on all cylinders. Pitcher Nicole Defilippo was in control for nearly the entire game, though she was dinged up a bit in the second inning.
Hannah Owens, Kelly Jackson and Ashley Lawhorn smacked consecutive RBIs to cut the Brookville lead to 4-3.
But the Bees were just too strong, piling on the runs with their hits and with some Eagle miscues in the field.
“Brookville did their job with the bat,” said Eagle Head Coach Hoyt Dellis.
Even with starting pitcher Raven Burnette yielding to Chelsea Nichols, the Brookville juggernaut was not to be denied.
The loss left the Eagles with a record of 3-6 in the district. The team will jockey for district placement with three chances to do so: hosting Amherst today (Wednesday), at Rustburg on Friday and hosting Forest on Wednesday.
Forest dropped by Rusties
As the Bees wrapped up with Staunton River, their dugout became a flurry of excitement as word came across that Rustburg had upended Jefferson Forest, knocking the Lady Cavs out of a first place tie with Brookville.
With their team destiny in their own hands, the Lady Cavs had let one slip away, falling to Rustburg, 7-6 in nine innings.
The Lady Eagles were done in by some early base running miscues and a high number of fielding gaffes.
Forest, which had been averaging less than an error a game, booted three balls against the Red Devils.
The Rusties were more than happy to take advantage of that uncharacteristic defensive sloppiness. That the Red Devils belted 13 hits certainly didn’t hurt their cause.
“Rustburg hit the ball well,” said Forest Head Coach Gary Harris. “They did what they needed to do.”
Harris already had concerns about the Rusties, noting that they are basically the same team that won the Seminole tournament last year. “You cannot let up on them,” he emphasized.
As tournament time nears, Harris finds himself with a rare luxury: two quality pitchers.
Carly Farmer has been seeing some mound time lately, joining Ashley Parsons, who has carried the bulk of the hurling in the early going of the season.
Farmer had a solid outing against Amherst, in the JF win last Wednesday. She scattered 9 hits in the 3-1 decision. Farmer fanned 11 Lancer batswomen.
Another thing that the Lady Cavs have in their favor is hitting. Against Amherst, catcher Amber Smith came up big at the plate, driving home a pair of runs.
Haley Pinchbeck was a perfect 3-for-3, getting half of the hits her team managed against Lancer pitcher Sydney Lewis.
There are four members of the team batting between .300 and .400, although some are more sporadic than others. “If I can get them all hitting together, I’d be happy,” observed the coach.
Whatever happened on Tuesday will certainly be a determinant in how happy Harris and his team are.
Following that game with Brookville, the Lady Cavs
Liberty edged by Amherst
The Minettes came close to picking up their third Seminole win of the season but were nipped by Amherst 3-1.
“Our girls played a little better than they did against Amherst (19-3 loss),” stated Liberty Head Coach Jeff Monroe.
Ashlynn Buttram pitched the entire game against Amherst, giving up those three runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks. Buttram struck out three.
Kelsie Davenport accounted for the lone Minette run, driving home Heather Manias with a hit in the second inning.
Absent the big hit, the Minettes left numerous runners in scoring position.
In the seventh, Liberty had runners on second and third base with only one out.
Morgan Wood hit a rocket that was snared by the Amherst shortstop. Then Ashley Wills hit a sharp grounder to second, which was handled perfectly for the game-ending out.
Liberty hosts Rustburg tonight (Wednesday) before heading to JF on Friday. The team wraps at home against Heritage on Monday, for Senior Night. That slate gives the Minettes three shots to improve on its 2-7 record.
“We are still young, but I think we can make some noise in the tournament,” declared Monroe.