Lady Bulldogs end seasonPublished 7:57pm Saturday, May 18, 2013
The King’s Fork High School softball team’s season came to a disappointing conclusion on Friday night in the Southeastern District tournament with an early first-round exit at the hands of Grassfield High School. The Lady Bulldogs held the lead for much of the game but fell victim to their own errors and the Lady Grizzlies’ hitting in a 5-2 loss at Nansemond River High School.
“They hit the ball hard,” King’s Fork head coach Richard Froemel said of Grassfield. “We made four crucial errors in the game.”
The Lady Grizzlies scored in the first inning, but King’s Fork took the lead in the second, thanks in large part to junior Kayla Jones. After sophomore Sydney Wash was walked, Jones hit a triple to left-center, scoring the runner for Wash, freshman Susan Mounie.
Shortly thereafter, junior Ashley Roten hit the ball to the shortstop, who fumbled it, allowing Jones to score.
“It was 2-1 going into the top of the sixth, and that’s when the wheel fell off,” Froemel said.
Two errors and a walk by King’s Fork and a triple by the Lady Grizzlies’ pitcher gave Grassfield a 4-2 lead.
Wash threw seven strikeouts, walking two and hitting two batters, which Froemel noted was unusual for her.
“I think she was a little nervous coming into that,” Froemel said of Friday’s game. “She had some higher eyes looking at her.”
He said that he had heard scouts from Radford University, Norfolk State University and possibly even Virginia Wesleyan College were among the sizable crowd.
As Coach Froemel reflected back on the season, he could not help but point out how it had an up-and-down quality to it. Though he only had one senior, he knew he had a group of solid sophomores and Wash on the mound.
“I had high expectations,” he said. “Then when we started out in those first five games, and we were 1-4, I was like, ‘Maybe I set my expectations too high.’”
But then a nine-game winning streak ensued, and he thought, “‘Maybe I was right.’”
“I think as a team, we were very disappointed and upset at how we played (on Friday), but again, the youth advantage of it is, we’re going to get better,” Froemel said.
An example of that youth was freshman Kay’Lee Justice, who had a solid game offensively for the Lady Bulldogs on Friday, going 2-for-3.
Froemel took a moment to highlight the one senior on the roster, Heather Clark.
“We’re (losing) a catcher,” he said. “Heather did a very good job for us, first year at the varsity level catching Sydney.”
He said he has been looking down at the junior varsity level and seeing some possibilities for filling the notable void that Clark will leave, but he also took solace in the other benefit of having a young team that is talented.
“Of course, we’ll have everybody back,” he said. “So, I’m very optimistic.”