The RCHS JV softball team finally broke into the win column last night by sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Manassas Park. This gives them two much-needed wins and assures they will not go winless in Bull Run District competition.
The second game was a make-up game that had been an away game for the Panthers, and so Manassas Park assumed the role of the home team. Per rules, doubleheaders only go five innings instead of the usual seven.
The home team Panthers easily handled the Cougars in the first game, winning 19-7. Ten hits, taking walks, and good fielding, along with the pitching of Samantha Keys, who had five strikeouts assured an easy victory.
The second game was quite different. Pitcher Savannah Stevens had some control problems in the first inning and gave up three runs. But the Panthers came back to score four in their half and went ahead 5-3 in the second.They were to add to that lead, going 9-3 into the bottom of the fourth when Manassas Park rallied and went ahead, 10-9. But Rapp came back to score two runs in the fifth to take a one-run lead.
The bottom of the fifth climaxed a nail-biting night. After one out on a pop-up, Manassas Park put two runners on who ended up in scoring position by steals. Then came another strikeout. Then a walk which loaded the bases. But pitcher Stevens got the next batter to hit into a force play at third and the team came away with a hard-earned and well-deserved 11-10 victory.
The eighth grade pitcher may have walked quite a few batters, but she threw strikes when she had to. And the fielding came through with some fine plays. One inning saw all three Manassas Park outs come on runners being forced at home plate. Another run was saved when a runner on third tried to come home on a ball slipping by catcher Brianna Settle, and getting put out in a rundown. Settle also accounted for another quick out by catching a hard hit foul pop-up.
It would appear that RCHS softball can be optimistic about the future. Freshman Keys may be the ace next year for the varsity with the graduation of Peyton Bailey. And Stevens has good potential and it is a credit to both her and the coaches that she stayed in and finished the game despite occasional struggles with control. That has to have boosted her confidence. As mentioned, the fielding came through, and lots of balls were hit hard even though some got turned into outs.
In action the night before, the Junior Panthers girls softball team triumphed over Mountain View Christian, 14-4. This game ended after three innings when a Mountain View player was hit in the face by a ball hit to the outfield and had to be taken out. They only had nine on their roster so Rapp’s Erin Norris graciously filled in for the opposing team for them to get their third inning in.
The JP girls play tomorrow at home against Prospect Heights Middle School of Orange while the JP baseball team also faces Prospect Heights here.
Reports from the RCHS Athletics website shows the varsity softball team coming out with a road win 7-0 over Manassas Park while the baseball team got edged 6-5 there as they sought their first District win on April 22.