Lady Warriors’ wake-up call
Published 10:42 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Saturday was a day the Lady Warriors might like to forget, but it also could end up being a day that helps them a great deal this season.
“Bishop O’Connell beat us up really bad, and then we turned around and beat Alleghany,” Lady Warriors coach Gabe Rogers said. Of the latter game, he said, “We won the game, but we didn’t play well.”
Rogers said a measure of excitement was absent from Nansemond River’s games on Saturday in Lynchburg. This led to two subpar performances and the Lady Warriors’ first loss this season.
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After going 22-3 last year, reaching the state semifinals and then returning nearly the entire team, the Lady Warriors have felt a lot of pressure this year to repeat as regional champions and return to states.
“Obviously, we want to achieve what we achieved last year, and we want to go farther,” Rogers said.
But Saturday’s struggles set the stage for an important discussion with the team before practice on Monday, when he was able to re-establish proper expectations.
“Win the next game,” Rogers said. “That’s our expectation — win the next game.”
Rogers said his girls seemed to have been in “Spring Break mode” on Saturday.
“It’s not that they weren’t trying hard and that they weren’t trying to play well,” he said. “They just didn’t seem focused.”
Bishop O’Connell defeated Nansemond River 11-1. The Lady Knights have won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state championship in 18 of the last 21 years, and they went on to win Saturday’s tourney by defeating host Brookville High School 3-1.
“A really good team took advantage of our mistakes and beat us up really bad,” Rogers said.
The Lady Warriors allowed five walks and committed seven errors.
“For the most part, every error led to them scoring runs,” Rogers said.
Bishop O’Connell finished with six hits, while Nansemond River had only two, one from junior Lauren Maddrey and the other from sophomore Katelyn Biando, who also had a run batted in.
“Katelyn Biando had a great weekend,” Rogers said.
She went 2-for-2 with a walk against the Alleghany Mountaineers, who the Lady Warriors faced shortly after playing the Lady Knights. Nansemond River won this second contest 5-2.
Alleghany led 2-0 early, but then the Lady Warriors generated three of their four hits in the fifth inning, during which they scored all five of their runs.
Sophomore pitcher Madison Rhoads started against the Mountaineers, and she threw three strikeouts and allowed only two hits before Maddrey relieved her in the fifth.
Nansemond River missed the senior leadership on Saturday of star Morgan Lowers, who was away on a long-planned family vacation.
Rain prevented the Nansemond River High School softball team from hosting Western Branch High School on Tuesday.
The Lady Warriors (7-1, 1-0) are set to host Western Branch today.