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Lord Botetourt showed that it loves the springtime. The school showed its affinity for the season by topping Blue Ridge foe Staunton River in four springtime sports last Friday.
The Bots played host to the Eagle baseball and girls soccer teams and sent the Riverites packing in both contests. The baseball score was 6-0 and in soccer, it was 3-0.
Meanwhile, River was playing host to softball and boys soccer skirmishes between the two schools. It wasn't much prettier in Moneta, as the Eagles fell in softball, 7-3, and in boys soccer, 6-1.
Lord Botetourt is a powerhouse, no doubt. The Cavs marched into the Eagles Nest and put on a display of Teutonic soccer that was controlled and crushing.
If not for the acrobatic saves of River goal keeper Michael Stump, this one could have gotten out of hand. Stump kept his team in the mix for the first half, at least.
So did captain Ryan Bower, who broke through the vaunted Cav defense for a one-on-one with the LB keeper. Ryno made a deft move to his left before sending it home right.
Alas, that was the last whiff of scoring the Eagles would get.
The Eagles also fell to Northside, 2-1. Bower did all of the scoring in that one, as well. The senior drove home a penalty kick in the match's early going.
The Lady Eagles, however, took care of Northside in another close contest.
In a game played on their home turf, the Lady Eagles showed that they can, indeed, play some defense.
The back line of Jenn Bisnett, Eryn Campbell, Jewell McRoy and Chelsea Mundy proved to be up to the task, shutting down the Northside attack when it threatened the most.
On those occasions when Northside got a sniff of the goal, keeper Morgan Lawson was there to stem the tide. The King College-bound keeper collected 21 saves for the evening.
All River needed was a single goal. That tally came early in the second half when sophomore Sarah Colo took a Taylor Tester crossing pass and sent it home.
By the way, the loss to Lord Botetourt dropped Staunton River into second place, at 2-1. The Bots own first place with a mark of 3-0.
The River loss to Lord Bot was forgettable, unless you happen to be Brian Ward. LB's starting pitcher allowed only four hits, only one for extra bases (Patrick Love's double).
A few days before, however, the Eagles nearly had a lifetime memory. That's because they nearly took Northside.
Six inches. Half a foot.
That's how close the Staunton River baseball team came to knocking off the Vikes last Tuesday.
The defending State champions rallied, though, to take a 4-1 win on the Golden Eagles' field.
River could have made its remarkable early-season antics even more remarkable by upending the Vikings. Instead, the Eagles will have to settle for knowing that they hung in there while Northside rang up its 20th straight victory.
That six inches? It was the distance by which a line drive off the bat of Northside's Lucas Nowlin cleared the glove of leaping Eagle shortstop, Mitchell Hullett. Don't blame Hullett, though. He leaped and stretched to his limits. It was just perfectly placed.
That hit drove in Jeremy Ragland for the go-ahead run. Todd Dunbar followed up with a two-run homer to ice the game.
Cameron Paksoy pitched extraordinarily well for River. "He's done everything we've asked," said Head Coach Brian Divers. "He gives us a chance every time he's out there."
Indeed, the Eagles certainly had a chance this time.
The Eagle diamondmen stand 1-2 in district play.
The Eagle softball crew showed some spark in their loss to the Bots. Nevertheless, they remain winless in Blue Ridge play (0-3).
Trailing 7-0 in the sixth, the River lasses came to life to make it a contest.
Hailey Heck started things off by being hit by a pitch. Peyton Weddle then put down a sacrifice bunt and reached first safely.
Carol Rice belted a single to center which brought home a run. Addie Tuck's single plated another run, before Michaela Hiett's ground out drove home a third.
But that was as close as things would get, as Remington Whorley's single leading off the seventh went for naught.
Eagle Pitcher Amanda Ferguson's efforts were trashed in the third inning when four runs were registered courtesy of four River fielding errors.
"We dug ourselves a hole with those errors," said River Head Coach Duck Dellis.
The Eagles also lost, 9-0, to Northside. The Viking batters hit River pitching early and hit it hard.