County softball roundup

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By Mike Forster

The Lady Cavs won?t be hauling the trophy for a regular season softball title back to Forest this season. Brookville will have that distinction.

Just because JF won?t have the hardware, it would be unwise to count them out of the post-season dash. The team, currently tied with Amherst for second, showed it can play some superior softball. The Lady Cavs put on quite a demonstration in beating homestanding Liberty 3-0 this past Friday.

With the win, the Lady Cavs swept the season series from Liberty, giving up just one run over the two games. Pitcher Carly Farmer, only a freshman, stared down the mighty Minette batting order once again, giving up but four hits in this win.

?(Farmer) threw well,? said Cav Coach Gary Harris. ?She kept getting ahead of their batters and kept her composure.?

After Amber Smith beat out a close play at first, an error and sacrifice fly brought home the first Lady Cav run in the second. In the fourth, Paige Hammock started out with a rare walk issued by Liberty pitcher Brooke Davis. Chelsea Lavender put down the sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error gave the Lady Cavs runners on second and third. After Davis registered two strikeouts, Kristie Dooley smacked a single to bring home the runs that represented the final tally.

Despite the win, Harris is still wary. He continues to stress the need for consistency. ?I?ll tell (the players) that if they play this consistently all the time, they?d be surprised what they can do.?

He is also leery of Liberty?s potential. ?They?re still a very dangerous team,? he observed.

Despite Liberty?s swoon, folks around the Seminole would be wise to heed Harris?s warning. Last year, the Minettes lit up the scoreboard in winning the District tournament.

In other JF action

After Friday?s festivities, Forest faced off with Amherst on Saturday, making up a rain-out. With the chance to clinch second place, the Lancers grabbed a 5-0 lead. Going into the bottom of the seventh, Amherst still led 5-1.

Lauren Scrivener led off that inning with a walk. A botched play at second resulted in Farmer joining Scrivener on the basepaths.

Kara Hannell nailed a single to score Scrivener, and Paige Hammock drove in a pair with a double. At that point, Amherst changed pitchers, and Lady Cav Lavender welcomed her with a double that drove home two more, tying the score.

The final blow was applied by Brittany, Roarke who hit a screamer over the head of the Amherst right fielder. The hit, which would have easily been a triple, brought home the winning run, keeping alive those second-place hopes.

River stays hot

Senior Nights usually involve a lot of emotion. Often, the ceremony can be a distraction when it comes to game time. The Golden Eagle softball seniors showed themselves to be the exception, as Staunton River kept the pedal to the metal, topping Rustburg in atypical fashion, 14-9.

Caitlin Falls, Jamie Hoover, Samantha Mayhew and Lauren Smith made certain that their Senior Night memories included more than just the stroll across the field with Mom and Dad.

Falls went 3-for-3 at the plate, also thrilling the crowd with a full-speed dash and diving catch to a smash in left-center field in the 6th. It was probably the best defensive play of the Christopher Newport-bound Falls? stint with the Eagles.

Hoover was an offensive dynamo, belting out four hits. Her field play was even more notable, as she had two putouts at the plate and handled both pitchers well. ?Jamie keeps things focused,? noted Coach Tom Karnes. Hoover, who has caught every inning of every game over the past two seasons, will leave a void for next year.

Mayhew added two shots to the offensive cornucopia and stole a base along the way. The second baseman also made a nice catch, going deep into center-right field to rein in a Texas Leaguer.

Smith helped break the Devils? hearts as she turned two key plays in the fifth that snuffed a Rustburg rally. With the bases loaded, the third baseman snagged a hard shot to get the force at home. Then she dropped to her knees on another blast to make the grab and the just-in-time throw to first.

?This senior class is special,? noted Karnes. ?When things were going bad, they bucked up and said, ?Let?s go win some ballgames?.?

All was not joyous in Moneta, however. Ace pitcher Raven Burnette injured her pitching hand while fielding a ball at the end of the fourth inning. The injury, which turned out to be a broken hand, will end the junior fireballer?s season several games short, much to the dismay of Eagle fans.

Chelsie Nichols, River?s other hurler, will take the mound the rest of the way for River.

Playoff outlook

Brookville will take a breather on Monday. Forest is a lock to entertain at home, although how that plays out will be determine, in part by its game with Staunton River. Forest is locked in a fight with Amherst for that second-place spot. Liberty and Staunton River will meet in the #4 vs #5 game. Where that game will be played also hinges on the Staunton River-JF game. If SR wins, it will tie Liberty for the fourth slot.