Staunton River High School’s softball team got back on the winning track after a tightly contested 2-1 road victory over Northside High School on Monday, May 16. The win also helped the Golden Eagles clinch the Blue Ridge District regular season title.
From the opening pitch all the way through the fifth inning, runs were hard to come by for both teams.
The Golden Eagles got their first baserunner and hot of the evening thanks to a single out to right field by senior Taylor Foutz. Sophomore Sawyer Tolley would later reach base by an error to give the Golden Eagles two baserunners to start the first inning, but they unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on the early opportunity as junior Allie Davison struck out and senior Rachel McGuire grounded out to second to end their threat.
On the mound for the Golden Eagles was sophomore Emily Wood, who just like she has done all season, kept the opponents’ bats in check. The Golden Eagles needed Wood to be her usual spectacular self, and she did just that in the first inning, allowing a two-out single but striking out the next batter to end the frame.
The Golden Eagles again had multiple baserunners on with one out but a strikeout by junior Payton Phillips and a pop out by Foutz left both runners stranded for Staunton River. Wood again only allowed one single in the bottom of the second inning, keeping the score deadlocked at zero.
In the third inning, both the Golden Eagles and Lady Vikings went down in order, with the last five batters for both teams combined striking out swinging and looking.
In the fourth inning, the Golden Eagles found themselves in familiar territory having two base runners on but the Lady Vikings again got out of trouble as Philips grounded out to the third baseman to end their threat, leaving a total of six baserunners left on base so far in the game for Staunton River.
Both teams continued to struggle at the plate, trying to figure out a way to find any sort of rhythm. In the sixth inning, the Golden Eagles finally broke through by scoring the first run of the game thanks to a homerun by freshman Payton Evans on a 2-2 count. However, the Lady Vikings were able to respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After sophomore Karlee Austin reached base by an error and later advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, junior Baylee Compton would then smack a single out to centerfield to bring Austin home and tie the game.
The Golden Eagles, though, responded by retaking the lead in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff double by Foutz, who then advanced on a sacrifice bunt, the Golden Eagles had the go ahead run within their grasp. Foutz was then driven in thanks to a single by Davison to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 advantage.
Wood then slammed the door shut on Northside, by allowing one more two-out single before striking out sophomore Sydney Jordan to secure the victory and the regular season Blue Ridge District title.
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