BC completes softball sweep

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2002

The Bennetts Creek All-Star Junior softball team rebounded from Wednesday’s 14-8 loss to Western Branch to defeat the Chesapeake team 5-1 on Thursday evening. The win finished a District 6 softball sweep for Bennetts Creek, as the 9-10, 11-12, Junior, and Senior All-Star teams won their respective tournaments.

This marks the first time in Division 6 history that a league has completed a clean sweep in softball (Bennetts Creek also won the 9-10, Junior and Senior baseball titles).

Western Branch got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Chelsea Rodes drew a walk, and moved to second and third on wild pitches. Rodes and Kendra Castillo pulled a squeeze play, as Castillo bunted to score a stealing Rodes.

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Leslie Bowman tied things up for BC in the top of the fifth. She singled, and stole her way to third. Amy Baines hit into a fielder’s choice to bring her home. An Amber Hines triple scored Ashley Aston in the next inning, and the BC defense, led by pitcher Mindy Byrd, held Western Branch scoreless.

After Bowman and Shannon Andy led off the seventh inning with outs, it appeared that Western Branch would have to score only a single run to send the game to extra innings.

But Jessica Bryant, Autumn Compton, and Maddi Ridenour singled the bases loaded.

Aston headed to the plate, and fouled off the first two pitches. Aside from a strikeout, an 0-2 count is the worst position a batter can face.

But little did Western Branch know, Aston was exactly where she wanted to be. &uot;My teammates call me ‘the two-strike girl,’ because I hit my best when there’s two strikes,&uot; said the Nansemond River High School freshman. &uot;I thought I’d probably get a clutch hit.&uot;

She did so, hammering a double to right field. Bryant and Compton came in to score, and BC was ahead 4-1. Hines then drove in Ridenour, giving the BC defense a four-run cushion to finish the game.

Rebecca Schumaker led off, and hit a fly ball into shallow right field. But just before it dropped in, Ridenour made an over-the-shoulder grab for out number one. Rodes grounded out to Lauren Watkins at third base, leaving things up to Castillo.

The Western Branch leadoff hitter kept her team alive with a single to centerfield. But Lauren Piquette dribbled a grounder in front of the plate.

Catcher Compton charged forward, snatched the ball, and fired to Hines at first to send BC to state.

The Junior All-Star state tournament will begin July 19 at Western Branch.