Lady Kavs march back to softball state title game

Published 1:03 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

While Kenston Forest School’s varsity softball team won a tense, back-and-forth contest against Brunswick Academy last week to claim the conference tournament title, Thursday’s rematch in the state semifinals was less dramatic, but it still had a satisfying finish.

The No. 4-seeded Lady Kavaliers opened up a small lead early in the contest against the No. 2 Lady Vikings and built on it as the afternoon progressed, advancing to their second straight state final with a 9-2 victory at RF&P Park in Glen Allen.

The Lady Kavs (25-7) will play No. 1 Fuqua School (14-5) for the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state championship at 5 p.m. Friday at RF&P Park, which is located at 3400 Mountain Road.

Kenston Forest Head Coach Jannon Coley summed up how she felt about Thursday’s win over archrival Brunswick Academy, the Lady Kavaliers’ 25th victory of the year.

“It was sweet — the best one yet,” she said.

Giving her take on what made this a more lopsided victory over the Lady Vikings, Coley said, “I just thought everybody was on. We were on with our pitching, we were pretty much on with our hitting, and we were relaxed. We were relaxed and focused, so I think that made the difference.”

Lady Kavs freshman Shelby Gunn pitched a complete game, throwing eight strikeouts.

Leading the way on offense for Kenston Forest was eighth-grader Mackenzie Newcomb, who went 3-for-4. Junior Peyton Coleman went 2-for-4, and junior Rachael Tucker went 1-for-2.

The Lady Kavaliers finished with 10 hits total.

In last year’s state title game, the Lady Kavaliers also faced Fuqua, and the older, more experienced Lady Falcons pulled away early for a 17-2 victory. The Lady Kavs remain young, but they have more experience this year, and in between seasons via transfer, they gained Coleman, a former Brunswick Academy star who was the 2018 Virginia Colonial Conference Player of the Year.