NSA wins as post-season nears

Published 10:02pm Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy softball team emerged from another weather-induced layoff to earn a 10-0 mercy rule-shortened conference victory on Thursday against Norfolk Christian High School. The Lady Ambassadors acted as the home team, though NSA hosted because Norfolk Christian’s damp field was not in acceptable condition to play.

The win put the Lady Saints in good post-season position with only one regular season game left on the schedule.

“We got the job done, did what we were supposed to do,” Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Brittany Wilkins said.

The Lady Saints scored in batches of twos in the first, second and fifth innings, before dropping four on Norfolk Christian in the sixth.

Wilkins praised some of her players who came up with important hits.

Eighth-grader Emily “EJ” Bankson had nothing short of a stellar day, going 4-for-4, with two runs batted in. She also pitched all six innings of the game, throwing 10 strikeouts while improving to 7-7 on the year.

Junior Taylor Berard went 3-for-4, including a two-run double, and ended up with three RBIs. Eighth-grader Madi Wilson went 1-for-1 with two RBIs, and freshman Haley Hemmis got a hit while filling in for a notable upperclassman.

“She had to go in for Madi Glynn, who came out with an injury,” Wilkins said.

Glynn jammed her ankle sliding into third base in the first half of the contest. Coaches are taking a wait-and-see approach on determining when she will return.

The latest interruption for the Lady Saints caused by inclement weather canceled Monday’s game at Windsor High School and postponed Tuesday’s Senior Day game until Saturday.

Wilkins shared how her girls have handled the intermittent nature of the 2014 season due to rain and worse.

“It has been tough,” she stated via text message. “We have been forced inside numerous days this season and it’s definitely tough to stay focused inside because the gym gets old quick, but the girls have made the most of things, and one of the things I always say to them is to control the controllables: effort and attitude.”

Wilkins said she thinks NSA, 9-7 overall, 5-1 in the conference, is in a good spot currently, though improvement is still necessary.

“Some people have really been stepping up when given opportunities, which is what you like to see at the end of the season,” she said.

These people include Bankson on the mound and eighth-grader Dani Goodman, freshman Delaney Taylor, sophomore Brooklyne Carr and senior Macy Mears at the plate.

In terms of the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, Wilkins said Thursday’s win “should have solidified us for second place.”

The TCIS is shaping up to be a battle between NSA and No. 1 Greenbrier Christian Academy, with its ace pitcher senior Kayla Harris. In the previous games this season, the Lady Saints have fallen 12-2 and 7-1, but they could meet again in the tournament.

Nansemond-Suffolk closes the regular season on Saturday, hosting Hampton Roads Academy at 3 p.m.

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