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Foxes softball own the Battlefield District

They came to make history. Battlefield District Coach of the Year, and King George High School varsity softball head coach Renee Parker is living on cloud nine. In less than a week, the Foxes (22-1) have defeated Culpeper (2-0) for the coveted district tournament crown, and on Monday, crushed Southside District champion, Southhampton, 10-2.


“I said a whole bunch a games ago, if they continue doing what they are doing, they could do this,” Parker said. “Some said that I was being a little forward by saying that. Honestly when you know they have the talent to do this, it’s easy to say it.”

On Wednesday, on the neutral grounds of Spotsylvania High School, the Foxes faced their district nemesis, Culpeper, and a no-nonsense pitcher by the name of Miranda Cropp. The Foxes’ only loss came at the hands of Culpeper, during a game when their Battlefield Pitcher of the Year, Taylor Brandts was not pitching.
For the first two and a half innings, the game was knotted in a pitcher’s duel, with Brandts cruising through Blue Devil hitters with a variety of fastball pitches, and Cropp keeping the Foxes off the base pads.

However, in the bottom of the third inning, the Foxes found a crease in Cropp’s pitching. With one out, sophomore Savannah Nalls lined a double into right field that scored two runs (Brandts, Taylor Balmaz).

In the top of the fourth inning, Katrina Wright walked, and Kara Cuccherini lined a looping single that started a potential big inning for the Blue Devils. However, University of Virginia-Wise bound senior Brandts remained poised and collected. She forced the next three batters to ground out, and strike out twice to end the inning.

During the remainder of the game, Cropp and Brandts continued their pitcher’s duel, while the score remained the same. Brandts finished the game throwing 95, resulting in 66 strikes, 12 strike outs, three walks, two hits, and zero runs. Cropp struck out 10 batters, and allowed one walk, and seven hits.

“This was the best game I’ve ever played,” Brandts said. “During the whole season, my pitches were on, while Monica (Brandts’ sister) called a perfect game—it was just the best game ever.”

 

Region I game: King George vs. Southhampton
On Monday, during the first round of the Region I tournament, the Foxes took full advantage of their home field situation by punishing the visiting Southhampton Indians, 10-2 over the course of seven innings. In light of their victory, the Foxes are scheduled to host New Kent at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. A victory over New Kent would give them a berth into the upcoming state tournament.

Taylor Brandts crippled the Indians offense with another solid outing, which featured seven strikeouts, four hits, and two runs. As for the Indians, they used two pitchers - Courtney Greene and Megan Duck. Greene and Duck yielded a total of 12 King George hits.

“You can see that Southhampton is an all around defensive team,” Parker said. “They have no problem putting the bat on Taylor’s pitching; however, when you have this kind of hitting and Taylor on the mound, it’s hard to beat. I am really proud of them, they did almost everything right today.”

The Indians struck first with a towering double from Madison Colonel that scored Debra Brickhouse. However, in the bottom of the first inning, the Foxes tied the game on a Taylor Balmaz RBI single that scored Kari McCullough.

Later in the bottom of the third inning, the Foxes took a 2-1 lead after an Indian throwing error that scored Brandts.

In the bottom of the fourth inning the Foxes opened their arsenal of offense to score six runs, courtesy of Alex Sheehan, McCullough, Balmaz, and Brandts. The huge Fox inning forced the replacement of starting Indian pitcher Greene to reliever Duck.

The Foxes picked up their final runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, after Duck balked and a sacrifice RBI grounder by Sheehan. In the top of the six inning, the Indians managed to score a run after Kaylee Edwards singled home Zoe Duabus.

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

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