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KG Foxes win VHSL Region I softball championship

The atmosphere around King George is nothing short of electric. With the Foxes varsity softball team entering the VHSL State Championship playoff for the first time in the school’s history, area fans are holding on to their seats. Their recent 9-5 Region I championship win over Tabb, and Region I semi-final championship victory over New Kent has solidified the Foxes as the finest softball team in the school’s history.

Results from the first round of the VHSL State quarterfinal game featuring Powhatan were not available due to press deadlines. If the Foxes win, they will travel to Radford for the semi-final game on Friday.

KGHS vs. Tabb
The old saying good pitching will be beat good hitting any day applied to the Foxes’ Region I championship win over Tabb. Taylor Brandts left Tabb fans in shock as she struck out 10 batters, allowed three runs on five hits, and yielded no walks in seven innings of work on the mound. Taylor Balmaz and Kari McCullough combined for five hits, and two RBIs.

The Foxes stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the third inning, scoring three runs on an RBI single by Alexis Sheehan, and a two-run triple by Brandts. In the top of the fourth, Tabb rallied, cutting the Fox 3-2 lead by one run. Tabb seemed to be on the heels of the Battlefield District champion; however, Brandts struck out C. Nicoletta to end the threat.

After McCullough scored Ashley Cooper in the bottom of the fourth, the Foxes lead 4-2. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Savannah Nalls started the inning off with a single, scoring Balmaz. Mickey Perrotte followed with a single that scored Nall, giving the Foxes a 8-2 lead.

In the top of the sixth inning, Tabb added a run to close the Fox lead to 8-3, but the threat was short-lived as Brandts forced a ground out to end the inning. A solo homerun by Balmaz in the bottom of the sixth extended the Foxes lead to 9-3.

Tabb attempted to rally with two additional runs in the final inning, but Brandts ended their regional hopes with a strikeout.

KGHS vs. New Kent
While the Foxes’ bats produced hits, they struggled to score, but they persevered in a tough battle with New Kent to eventually win 1-0, and capture the Region I semi-final. Taylor Brandts was exceptional on the mound, as she punished New Kent batters with her second no-hitter of the season. Kari McCullough went two for four at the plate, while Alexis Sheehan plated two hits in three appearances for King George.

The game was deadlocked at 0-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Hailey Lawrence pinch hit for Shelby King. After Lawrence drew a walk, the Foxes reinserted King for Lawrence at first base. Gabe Tate bunted down the first base line, moving King to second base. With two outs, a three-two count at the plate, and the go-ahead run on second base, McCullough hit the ball to short center field, scoring King, and giving the Foxes the victory.

Leonard Banks
Sports Editor

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