Forest opens strong in post-season

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JF teams go four-for-four in conference openers

By Mike Forster



Ready or not, playoff action got underway with games on Monday.

Two days after seniors from Bedford County High Schools marched across the stage at the Vines Center to receive their diplomas, some of their teams marched into the post-season fray.

It was a mixed bag for the locals. 

Jefferson Forest showed an affinity for Monday.  In four games, all played on Cav fields, the school posted a perfect 4-0 mark, doing so with uneven levels of ease.

Actually, it was the baseball crew which was the only team in black and red which faced a tough challenge in the opener.

The Lady Cavs owned the GW-Danville end of the field, firing virtually at will.

Dana Bryant, Cassidy Ratliff, Sarah Crider and Madeline Bucholz all rang up goals in the first 20 minutes of play.

JF keeper Sarah Richards had an easy afternoon as her mates denied the Eagles any real scoring threats.

The field obviously favored those in red and black.  A half hour after the Lady Cavs finished off their 7-0 win, their male counterparts put on an equally impressive performance.

The lads were a bit listless in the first half, only putting up a pair of goals.

Brian McConkey's frozen rope and Logan Merkle's header were the only first-half goals.

But, the rest of the crew caught fire in the second, as the Cavs completely hounded the Bassetts.

Josh Owen (twice), Martin Solheim, Teddy Delledera and the Palazzi boys, Chris and Joe, did the honors.

Meanwhile, over at the softball diamond, JF was crushing E.C. Glass for a third time.  The mercy-rule shortened affair went five innings, as the Lady Cavs prevailed 11-1.

Jessica Marchand got some playoff pitching experience.  The young hurler limited Glass to a trio of hits.  The Cav bats were not as potent as they'd been in previous romps over the Glaziers.  But, they had enough.  Ashley Jennings' two-RBI double in the first was the hit of the game.

The JF baseball crew escaped elimination twice, storming back to tie Bassett in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.

Cam Smith showed good discipline at the plate, drawing a bases-loaded walk for the winning run in the ninth.

Starting pitcher Christian Bourne threw superbly, keeping his team in it.  He also chipped in a key hit in the sixth.  Tyler Lucy got the win in relief.

The Liberty diamond lads found Monday to be a less-than-happy affair.  The M-Men saw a disappointing season come to an end, falling to Heritage by the score of 4-2.

The team finishes with an overall mark of 2-18.

The Liberty softball team, as well as both soccer teams got a break on Monday.  In Conference 30, that was the day for play-in games between the conference's #4 and #5 seeded teams.

Hats off to Conference 31, which includes Staunton River.  That group chose to defer starting the playoffs until Tuesday, in honor of Memorial Day, on Monday.