Lady Saints not enough to top Gators

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy softball coach Brittany Wilkins was looking for a much closer game between her Lady Saints and perennial TCIS powerhouse Greenbrier Christian Academy on Monday.

Instead, she saw the Lady Gators take an early lead and build it into a 9-0 home win. NSA did not generate nearly enough offense to stay undefeated in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools.

“With four hits against a team like Greenbrier, you’re definitely not going to win a ballgame,” Wilkins said, noting the Lady Gators had 10 hits. “They took first place for the regular season with that win tonight, and we finished in second.”

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Nansemond-Suffolk junior pitcher Katie Peelen took the loss in the circle but worked to keep her team alive by throwing an impressive 10 strikeouts.

“She kept the ball in the park against Greenbrier, which is not an easy task,” Wilkins said.

The game was the Lady Saints’ last of the regular season, while Greenbrier Christian had one more to play. Directly after beating Nansemond-Suffolk, the Lady Gators routed Norfolk Academy 10-0.

The Lady Bulldogs finished with four errors and only two hits, while NSA had two errors to go with their mere four hits.

“I felt like the hits were going to come eventually, but they just never came for us today,” Wilkins said.

The four that the Lady Saints had were all singles, hit by sophomore Delaney Taylor, junior Brooklyne Carr, senior Bridget Murphy and Peelen.

Across both of its games on the day, Greenbrier Christian produced 21 hits and played errorless softball. Against Nansemond-Suffolk, the Lady Gators went up 2-0 after the first inning, adding three more runs in the third and four in the fourth.

“They definitely showed me they wanted it more than we did,” Wilkins said.

The possibility exists that the Lady Saints could see their archrival again, both in the TCIS tournament and Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state tournament.

Wilkins said in the event of a rematch, her players’ “bats need to show up, and they’ve got to want it more than Greenbrier does.”

The Lady Saints hold the No. 2 seed in the TCIS tournament, which began on Tuesday. Nansemond-Suffolk (11-6, 6-1) hosted No. 7 Norfolk Collegiate School, and the winner advances to Thursday’s semifinals. The championship game will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday at Virginia Wesleyan College.