Early rally not enough in loss to Strasburg

RCHS pitcher Taylor Yowell. Photo by Megan Lee.

Last Friday night, Rapp Panthers baseball team traveled to Strasburg to face the Rams. Even with the 14-2 loss, the boys had some laudable moments to report.

“We jumped out early,” Coach Donald O’Meara said, “with a single by Matt Fletcher, then a nice bunt by John Mills. Mills reached second on an error and scored Matt Fletcher.”

Momentum seemed to be on the Panther side when Mills scored on a single by Taylor Yowell. “We scored two runs on three hits in the first inning,” O’Meara recalled. “Then, we went ice cold in the box.”

Rapp only had one hit in the other four innings. They scored seven runs on three hits with two walks in the first. “Although we jumped out early, we struggled to hold them. We lost our first district game in 5 innings.”

Tuesday’s rainy weather cost the Panthers a chance to “bounce back” and play Manassas Park. The game was cancelled. The team plays their next district game at George Mason High School tomorrow night (May 14) at 7 p.m.

Rappahannock 6
Fresta Valley 4

Madison 8
Rappahannock 3

The week before, two games in two days produced mixed results for Panther varsity baseball. In a rescheduled home game against Fresta Valley Christian School Thursday night (April 29), Rapp triumphed 6-4. Defeat came the following night in Madison with an 8-3 loss.

Even with a disappointment in Mountaineer territory, Panthers showed improvement against a tough district team. When the two teams last met, Rapp lost 11-1.

Coach Donald O’Meara blamed team errors for the recent outcome. “Madison only scored three earned runs,” he said. Rapp certainly revealed some winning potential. Seniors Chris Garcia and Taylor Yowell both pitched. Nick Carter and Yowell were the hot bats for the game, both going 3-4. Panthers stole four bases and scored three runs on nine hits.

The Panthers’ winning game on Thursday came through a genuine team effort. Senior Evan Espinola was the winner pitcher, and Sophomore Brandon Walker got the save. Matt Fletcher hit a two-run homer in a third inning that celebrated four total runs. “We played very well,” O’Meara said, “except for the bottom of the fourth where a couple walks and a few hits allowed Fresta to score four.” Rapp sealed the victory in the top of the sixth with two additional home runs and added their fifth win of the season.

Girls softball

Strasburg 12
Rappahannock 1

Lady Panther softball suffered a 12-1 defeat at the hands of Strasburg’s Lady Rams on Friday, May 7. This loss brings the team to a 5-10 overall record.

“Things started off good as we jumped out to a 1-0 lead,” Coach Jamie Harris said. Junior Brittani Dodson led off the first inning with a walk. Lauren Settle moved her over to second base with a bunt single. Dodson and Settle moved to second and third on a Hanna Kopjanksi sacrifice bunt. Dodson scored later on a wild pitch.

Rapp defense held stout the through the first two innings. “Strasburg broke it open in the bottom of the third,” Coach Harris said, “and from there never looked back.” Panthers finished with only two hits and left six runners on base.

“Our bats went cold and our defense failed to properly execute fundamentally sound fielding. When we rediscover our heart, passion, and love for this game we will be back on track. Right now we need leaders to step forward and help the coaching staff get this ship headed back in the right direction.”

The Lady Panthers have a chance to rally tomorrow night (May 14) when they travel to George Mason High School to contend with the Mustangs.

Madison 19
Rappahannock 0

“Battle the slump” is the cry of the RCHS varsity girls’ softball team. On Friday, April 30, they fell 19-0 on the Madison County High School field.

Even though the Mountaineers have yet to be scored on in district competition this season, the Ladies traveled to the competition with the hope of victory in their eyes. Unfortunately, Rapp claimed only one game hit by freshman Peyton Bailey. Junior Brittani Dodson had a walk and one stolen base that she took on a Madison error in the fourth inning. She advanced to third, but wound up stranded.

“We are not hitting the ball like we should,” Coach Jamie Harris said, “ and when we have runners on, players are missing signs and leaving runners out to dry. Defensively, we continue to struggle. If we can get on a roll here in the last four games, we can finish in the top three of the district. That is our goal right now.”