A year of progress

Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The 2019 Central High School varsity softball team was eliminated in the Region 1B tournament semifinals and finished the season just shy of a winning record, but Head Coach Karen McGrath’s reflection on the year made it easy to characterize the season as largely successful.

“We were, overall, a young team but improved as each week progressed,” she said.

It was the kind of season that serves as an important stepping stone back to better days.

The Lady Chargers ended up with a 9-10 overall record. Holding the No. 3 seed in the regional tourney, they routed visiting No. 6 Cumberland County High School 16-3 in the first round before falling 6-0 to host No. 2 Riverheads High School in the semifinals.

Recalling that final game, McGrath said, “We played well defensively, and I believe if we could have strung several hits together when we had opportunities, the score would have been closer.”

Sophomore Cameron Lewis hit a single in the fifth inning to record a hit for Central.

Lady Chargers junior Sorie Scott pitched five innings before being relieved by Lewis for the last two.

Asked what her team’s best performance was this year, McGrath highlighted a couple of standout games.

“Beating Goochland the first game of the year gave us momentum early,” she said. “The two wins over a strong Prince Edward team were great performances for our team too.”

Central has now lost three players due to graduation: Emma Hart, Haley Hayer and Samantha Bishop.

“Emma has been our third baseman for four years and was solid offensively and defensively,” McGrath said. “Haley played outfield but has played in a number of positions the last few years, including catcher and shortstop. Samantha has played left field and right field while on varsity. We are going to miss all three of these players.”

With potentially 10 players returning, McGrath noted anticipating a quick start to 2020.

“I see us starting the season off strong, as we did this year, with a win over Goochland,” she said.

See next week’s edition for details on the Lady Chargers’ all-district and all-region accolades.

Scott made the all-district first team as a utility player, and freshman catcher Caroline Bayne was named to the second team.

Scott was an all-region first-team selection as a pitcher, and Bayne and sophomore outfielder Aaliyah Alexander made the all-region second team.