Campaign ends for Lady WarriorsPublished 9:56pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Nansemond River Lady Warriors completed a trilogy of games this year against the Hickory High School softball team with a showdown in the semifinals of the Southeastern District tournament on Tuesday night at Nansemond River High School.
The Lady Hawks played the way Nansemond River coach Gabe Rogers hoped his team would, and then critical errors factored in, ending the Lady Warriors’ winning season with a 16-7 loss.
“It’s not even so much the physical errors that we made,” Rogers said. “We made mental errors, as well. I felt like we were prepared, but we didn’t execute what we prepared. (Hickory’s) just too good. They just hit the ball too well. We did not execute, and they took advantage of our miscues.”
Hickory’s win gave it a sweep against the Lady Warriors this season, with previous winning scores of 16-6 and 7-6.
Nansemond River got off to a good start on Tuesday, taking a 3-2 lead in the first inning thanks to a 2-RBI double by senior Hope Mounie and an RBI by freshman Jaclyn Mounie.
But then the Lady Hawks rattled off seven runs in the second inning and continued to make contributions to their run tally in every inning until the fifth.
“They did a good job of doing what I wanted to do,” Rogers said. “My thing was, ‘Let’s try to score every inning.’”
By the end of the fourth inning, Nansemond River trailed 16-3 and was staring a mercy-rule ending in the face if the lead was at least 10 runs after five innings. Acknowledging the nearly insurmountable deficit, Rogers gathered the team and said, “‘Now you’ve just got to show the character of the team you are. Do you just want to concede the fact that we’re going to lose, or do you want to just go in and just show all the parents that are here to support you, all your family, your friends that are here to support you, do you want to show them that you have fight all the way through, or do you just want to get three outs and call it day?’”
Senior Sydney Glover, who took the mound in the second inning and held it the rest of the game, said, “Coach gave me this little pep talk and he said, ‘Just have fun, it’s your last few innings with this team, so just have fun, go out and do your best,’ and we did.”
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Warriors’ offense came roaring back to life. Senior Jazmine Card’s bunt single loaded the bases, then freshman Lauren Maddrey drove one in with another bunt. Sophomore Morgan Lowers scored freshman Maddie McGrath, junior Maddy-Grace Lavender’s hit scored Card and Maddrey scored off of a fly by Jaclyn Mounie.
In the bottom of the fifth, Glover retired three straight batters. Nansemond River was not able to score in the sixth, but the defense again made short work of the Lady Hawks with put-outs from Maddrey and Glover, and then Glover struck out the last Hickory batter swinging.
Along with Card, Eryn Haley and Hope Mounie, Glover played her last game as a Lady Warrior on Tuesday. Rogers was proud of her for finishing the way she started as a freshman — on the mound.
“I think just being able to be on the field with my team for this last time, that’s the most emotional part, not the loss, but just that I’m done,” Glover said.
“We did a really great job this season compared to last year, so it just feels so good to do that, even if we’re not continuing on, but I am really going to miss this team,” she said. “This is my favorite team I’ve ever played on. So, I’m just really sad that it’s my senior year, and I’m done now.”
After a losing season last year, Nansemond River ended 2013 with a 16-6 record.