All-state Lady Saint leaving strong team

Published 10:01 pm Monday, June 20, 2011

Nansemond-Suffolk’s Kelsey Ritter has been an all-state and all-conference player for the Lady Saints for the last five years as a pitcher and shortstop. Ritter hit .648 and was 9-2 as a pitcher this season. She’s going to Winthrop with a softball scholarship.

The Southeastern District picked an excellent softball season to extend its tournament from four schools to the top six squads.

The playoffs effectively started a game early in Suffolk as the regular season finale between Nansemond River and Lakeland was for the last spot in the tournament.

Four of the first five Suffolk vs. Suffolk rivalry games came down to extra innings and/or a one-run margin. Fittingly, the Lady Warriors and Lady Cavaliers went eight innings before Nansemond River edged Lakeland.

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King’s Fork pulled out enough tight games to finish fourth in the district, with two seniors on its roster. Through most of the season, KF’s starting nine or 10 had eight or nine underclassmen.

An offense that slugged for plenty of runs against all but the elite pitchers in the state will be a year older and a year better next spring. The Lady Bulldogs will have to make up for losing clean-up hitter and captain Kristin Moore, who’s headed to Barton.

Similarly, Nansemond-Suffolk had an excellent season with a team which will be back almost entirely next season.

Though the Lady Saints lose just two seniors, Winthrop-signee Kelsey Ritter has been a team leader for five seasons. NSA reached as high as No. 2 in the state during the season and fell in the state quarterfinals, but had higher goals; a sign of what Ritter helped NSA reach.

Ritter and Macy Mears, who will be a two-year varsity and all-state veteran when she’s a sophomore next year, hit .648 and .701 respectively. Ritter drove in 23 runs and hit seven triples while going 9-2 pitching. Mears scored 43 runs, nearly two a game, and had eight triples. Ritter made her fifth VIS All-State Team to conclude her Lady Saint career.

For softball around Suffolk this past spring, “wait ‘til next year” should be said with full optimism.

2011 All-Suffolk News-Herald Softball Team

  • Player of the Year — Kelsey Ritter, Nansemond-Suffolk, P/SS
  • Megan Blythe, King’s Fork, CF
  • Kayla Coburn, Nansemond River, 2B
  • Niki Cuevas, King’s Fork, 3B
  • Morgan Daughtry, Nansemond-Suffolk, P/SS
  • Taylor Davis, King’s Fork, C
  • Sydney Glover, Nansemond River, P
  • Shelbi Holloman, Nansemond River, CF
  • Macy Mears, Nansemond-Suffolk, C
  • Ugi Metzger, Nansemond-Suffolk, LF
  • Kristin Moore, King’s Fork, 1B
  • Kelsey Smither, Lakeland, SS/CF