CHS softball to regional semifinals

Published 1:53 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Central High School’s varsity softball team achieved its goal of advancing further than last year’s squad when it won 14-4 against visiting Chincoteague High School in the Region 1A East tournament quarterfinals Monday.

“We hit much better today, and we started hitting early,” Lady Chargers Head Coach Karen McGrath said. “And we had a tough inning on defense, but we recovered with hits, and I’m really proud of (my players). Their offense was superb tonight.”

Fourth-seeded Central (15-7) hosts No. 8 Luray High School in the regional semifinals Wednesday at 5 p.m.

On Monday, Central took a 3-0 lead after one inning and held a 7-0 lead after two.

The No. 5 Lady Ponies scored all four of their runs in the top of the third inning, during which they also produced most of their seven hits for the game.

But the Lady Chargers scored seven unanswered runs across the third, fourth and fifth innings to seal the win.

They finished with 15 hits, led by junior Kaylee Williams, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and freshman Sorie Scott, who went 3-for-5 with one RBI.

Junior Hailey Bayne earned the win in the circle, throwing 14 strikeouts in a complete-game performance.

“She’s at probably 220 strikeouts for the season,” McGrath said.

The coach also praised the defensive play of Williams in center field and junioar Brittany Tomlinson at second base.

Monday’s regional victory was the Lady Chargers’ first since 2013.

Now they must face Luray, which pulled of a big upset in the quarterfinals against No. 1 Windsor High School.

“They play in a very tough district, just like we do,” McGrath said of the Luray Lady Bulldogs. “They’re going to be tough to beat. We’re going to have to play our best game.”

To reach Monday’s regional quarterfinal, Central won its Conference 42 tournament semifinal game 6-0 Friday against visiting No. 3 West Point High School.

Bayne pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits and throwing nine strikeouts.

The second-seeded Lady Chargers had nine hits for the game, including an inside-the-park home run by Scott, who went 2-for-4 at the plate on the day.