Three teams head to state
Published 12:00 am Monday, July 7, 2003
Two Bennett’s Creek (BC) teams won their respective District 6 championships Monday night, as the 11-12 softball and senior baseball team completed sweeps of their divisions. The girls whomped Western Branch 16-3 (all of their four tournament victories were by at least 11 runs) at Driver Elementary School, while the boys held off Olive Branch 2-1 (their second victory over the Portsmouth squad) at Wilson. The win marks the third trip to state competition for a BC team this season, as the senior softball team won its division last week.
In the boys game, Chase Darley doubled home Chris Simonds for a 1-0 Olive Branch lead in the third. Brian Breedlove came in to pitch for BC, and limited Branch to only one more hit, an infield single.
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Meanwhile, the BC bats finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth. Breedlove drove the first pitch over shortstop for a single, and Tim Eure singled him to third. Tyren Rivers came in to run for Eure, and Josh Harrell cranked a double to deep left-centerfield to score both runners.
The BC defense kept Branch from reaching scoring position for the remainder of the game, which ended with Will Hirsch making two quick putouts at shortstop and Rivers nabbing a fly ball in centerfield.
&uot;I was thinking about going to Cave Springs,&uot; Rivers said of his state of mind during the catch. The BC senior boys, who took third in Virginia last season, will head to Cave Springs on July 17 to start their state trek.
&uot;I already had my finger up for us being number one when I caught the ball,&uot; Rivers said with a smile. &uot;We’ll keep winning at state with teamwork.&uot;
The softball team had a much easier time of things, as captain Tina Parker showed why her teammates gave her the nickname of &uot;Nomar Garciaparra&uot; by hitting for the cycle in their victory.
&uot;That was my best hitting performance,&uot; said Parker. She led off the game with a single, and scored on as fielder’s choice by Katie Duff.
Mary-Kate Fowler walked to open the second, and stole her way to third. Alaysha Mikell was hit by a pitch, and Shaquita Debraux laid down an infield single to score Fowler. Parker doubled them both in, and BC had a 4-0 lead.
Duff smashed a triple into deep right field in the third, and Mikell singled her in. Debraux bunted for a single, and Paige Imhof knocked home Mikell. Parker then bashed a home run to the centerfield fence, upping the lead to 9-0.
Western Branch scored all their runs in the bottom of the third, but BC ended things early in the fourth. Mallory Patterson singled, and stole her way to third. Duff singled her home, and Raise Boone walked. Fowler drove in both runners with a single, and Mikell walked. Jordan Winslow singled Fowler home, and Parker completed her trip around the cycle with a triple, scoring Mikell and Fowler. Stephanie Maher singled Parker in, and the BC rout had ended.
&uot;I was confident that we’d win,&uot; said Maher, who lived up to her team nickname of &uot;Ice&uot; by cooling off the Western Branch bats with six strikeouts in her second tournament win over the Chesapeake team. I wanted to rock and roll!&uot;
The 11-12 state games will be played in Clinch River (near Abington), beginning July 17. The senior games will be played in Richmond, starting the same day.
BC is sure to bring at least one more championship to Suffolk, as the 11-12 National and American baseball teams will play in the finals of their division at 6 p.m. today at Cavalier Manor. Should the American team win, the tournament ends. If the Nationals win, the teams will play again on Wednesday.
The BC junior softball team also goes for a title today when it battles Olive Branch at 6 p.m. at Driver. A BC win ends things; a Branch victory will cause another game, on Wednesday.