Already regional winners, Central High prepares for Chincoteague

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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It’s about fighting for what you want. That’s how head coach Adrianna Caballero sees things, when it comes to playoff softball. Her Central High Chargers took the Region 1B trophy after a tournament in which they dominated, only giving up one run in two games. They shut down Cumberland 6-0 and then took down Buffalo Gap 6-1. Their overall 16-3 record brought them to the state quarterfinals, which will take place tonight against Chincoteague High, 11-4 on the season. 

16-3 is a big change from last year, when the team finished at 10-9, ending with a 10-6 loss to Riverheads in the regional playoff. Now, under the guidance of first year coach Caballero, the squad has a regional title in hand and is looking for more. The coach says it comes down to accountability. 

“They show up every day,” she said of the players. “They work hard, they hold each other up. They’re fighting for what they want, which is to make it all the way to Salem.” 

And as a result, they just keep winning. As of Tuesday, June 6, they were ranked fourth in all of Virginia Class 1 softball and in the Top 50 overall across all classes in the state. Caballero praised her predecessors for helping them get to this point. 

“The team came with a lot of skills they learned from prior coaches,” she said. “Now they’re able to utilize the tools they have to move forward.” 

Spotlighting players at Central High

As Caballero said, it’s a team effort. And you have a number of players dominating at just the right time of the season. Freshman Lydia Anderson, for example, currently leads the team in both stolen bases, with 11, and batting average at 0.535. 

“She has come in and done a great job for us,” Caballero said. “”She has really great range and an awesome bat.” 

The coach also pointed to a two-way player on the squad, Tristan Buchanan. The Chargers starting pitcher leads the team with a 1.00 earned run average (ERA). She was on the mound for all six innings of that shutout against Cumberland. And when she’s not pitching, Tristan contributes in other ways, the coach said. 

“She plays second,” Caballero said. “She’s a strong second baseman, always with a positive attitude and willing to pick up her teammates. She’s a strong hitter as well.” 

The same goes for a pair of other players, shortstop Cayley Stokes and catcher Regan Harris. Stokes leads the team with four home runs on the season and the coach praised her power hitting and her fielding, calling Stokes the team’s rock at shortstop. The coach also pointed to the work Harris has done. 

“She’s been a rock behind the plate, keeping her team focused,” Caballero said of her catcher. “She’s also always there at clutch moments when we need her.” 

Harris also rarely lets something get by her, coming into this week with a 0.993 fielding percentage. To be clear, 1.000 is perfect, meaning no errors, no mistakes. 

Overall, Caballero said it’s been great to see all the hard work pay off for her squad. 

“I think it’s awesome that the girls have made it to this point in the season,” she said. “They’ve worked very hard from the beginning to the point we’re at right now.”

First pitch for tonight’s game is set for 5 p.m. at Central High. Tickets are $10 and you can buy them online through the Virginia High School League by going here.