The defensive changes made to the Rappahannock County High School softball team’s lineup seemed to produce dividends Saturday.
The Panthers played error-free softball en route to a second-place finish in the Panther Spring Bash.
“We had a team meeting Tuesday,” head coach Larry Settle said, “and the girls agreed that we needed to make some changes defensively. We didn’t play well. We still cannot figure out why we were not jelling in our first two games (losses to Culpeper and Eastern View). It just didn’t come together for us.”
So Settle made wholesale changes to the lineup, moving Brittany Dodson from shortstop to behind the plate and shifting sophomore Lyndie Paul from second to short. Freshman Shelby Thornhill is now at second, with senior Megan Early going to third. Senior Hannah Kopjanski moved from the starting catcher’s spot to left field.
Saturday, with the revamped lineup, the Panthers played like the team that Settle envisioned they would be this spring.
They hung onto the ball and forced the opposition to earn a win.
Warren County won the Panther Spring Bash, defeating Rappahannock County, 5-2, in the championship game.
“Warren is a well-rounded team that’s going to beat a lot of very good teams,” Settle said. “We came ready to play. We were excited about playing, and we showed a lot of enthusiasm against them.”
But the Wildcats pounded out 10 hits against Early, who took the loss. She also had five strikeouts.
Thornhill and Early each had two hits. Rappahannock County finished with six.
In the day’s opener, the Panthers got a two-run home run from Paul and two hits each from Dodson and Lauren Settle as they rolled to a 15-2 win over Eastern Mennonite.
Paul’s two-run home run highlighted a six-run second inning.
“We came out really hot with the bat,” Settle said.
Peyton Bailey got the win for the Panthers (1-3). She tossed a complete-game, three-hitter and fanned eight.
The Panthers host Colonial Beach in a non-district game Friday (April 1) .