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Many view tournament time as a brand new season. That’s not a bad way of viewing it except for one thing: What you did in the regular season is a huge factor.
That will come into play as both the Seminole and Blue Ridge Districts open tourney play this Monday.
Liberty clearly has all of its pieces in place. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win, but it surely means the Lady Minutemen should have a solid chance against any potential foe the rest of the way.
Liberty’s latest win came over Rustburg. It wasn’t pretty, but the Lady Minutemen came away with an 8-5 win.
Committing an uncharacteristic three errors against a very good-hitting group of Rusties made it closer than it needed to be.
“It wasn’t one of our better games,” assessed Liberty Head Coach Jeff Monroe. “I thought we did what we had to do to win.
“[Still], I thought we hit the ball really well.”
The numbers back up the coach’s assertion. Monroe’s charges belted out 15 hits, with Jamie Bennett leading the way. The senior first baseman went two-for-three with a home run. Cassidy Hensley had her usual workmanlike performance from the circle, striking out 11 batters.
In order to win the Seminole District regular season championship, Liberty needs to beat Heritage tonight (Wednesday) in their final game of the regular season.
Should they do take care of Heritage, they’ll finish up with a regular-season record of 10-2.
In order to win the district outright, the Lady Minutemen would need help from an unlikely ally.
Should Jefferson Forest knock off Brookville (currently 9-2), the Lady Cavs could not do a greater favor for their cross-county rival.
The Bees visit Jefferson Forest on Wednesday (tonight). By the way, don’t think that JF is playing to merely help out their fellow Bedfordites. The Lady Cavs seek to improve their Seminole standings and win that coveted home berth for the playoff opener.
The Lady Cavs certainly helped their own cause when they pounded Heritage last Wednesday night.
Forest prevailed 10-0, to improve to 4-5. The mercy rule-shortened affair featured pitcher Alexis Brown scattering four Pioneer hits over five innings. The sophomore heat-tosser whiffed nine Heritage batsmen.
JF tallied five runs in the bottom of the fifth to put this one away. Skylar Morris mauled a 3-2 single to bring home a pair of runs. Big sister Regan Morris later belted a double to drive home another duo.
Alexandra Richardson’s ground-out pushed Regan Morris to third. With Hailey “The Commander” Pinchbeck at the plate, and with two outs, Morris dashed home on a passed ball to score the tenth run. With that, the guys in blue called it a night for everyone.
While we’re doing the math to figure out who plays where, JF Head Coach Joanna Hardin isn’t getting knotted up over it. “My perspective is we’ll have to play everybody, and the more we play the better we’ll be.”
Certainly, the Lady Cavs have shown serious growth over the course of the season “(My players) are really starting to believe what they’re capable of,” said Hardin. “That light bulb has gone on.”
River playing Monday
Staunton River, a Blue Ridge entrant, will seek to be a wild card by upsetting some of the BRD royalty.
River has its work cut out for it. First, it will play in the play-in game to try and earn a trip to the semifinals.
It appears the Golden Eagles will travel to Alleghany for that Monday opener.
Should they win, they’ll face either Northside or William Byrd, either of which could best be described as a superpower.
Of the two, they may wish to avoid Byrd. This past Monday, the Terriers beat River in a mercy rule-shortened game, 10-0. With Lord Bot upsetting Northside, 4-3 on that same evening, it looks as though the crown is there for the Terriers to take.
That’s bad news for River, particularly since Staunton River has played Northside very competitively this year, losing 1-0 in their latest matchup.