Lunenburg Central shuts down Chincoteague, advances in playoffs

Published 12:43 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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The team was locked in. There was no other way to describe how the Lunenburg Central Chargers handled business on Tuesday night. Playing in front of their home crowd, the Chargers shut out Chincoteague 7-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the state softball championship.

Earlier in the week, Central High coach Adrianna Caballero had spotlighted pitcher Tristan Buchanan as a key member of the team, a starter they relied on. She showed why on Tuesday, tossing a complete game shutout and picking up the win. With the shutout, Buchanan’s earned run average (ERA) dropped below 1.00 to 0.91. To put that in perspective, only 71 players in all of NCAA softball history have finished a season with an ERA below 1.00. She has the possibility to be number 72 depending on how the rest of the playoffs go. 

And while Buchanan dominated the 11-5 Chincoteague squad on the mound, her teammates put on a show at the plate as well. Cayley Stokes was a big part of that. Caballero in our interview mentioned her power and her ability to drive the ball, as she leads the team in home runs. You can add one more to that total after Tuesday night. Stokes went 3 for 4 with her fifth home run of the season, driving in two runs. Kennedy Moody added two more RBIs on the night, going 2 for 4. 

With the win, Central High improved to 17-3 on the season, a major shift from last year’s 10-9 record. 

“They show up every day,” Caballero said of the players in our earlier interview. “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.” 

With this win, the team is one step closer to that opportunity. Rye Cove High beat Grayson County 11-1 and will play Lunenburg Central next. The Eagles are 26-0 on the season and will be the home team when the two groups meet this Friday, June 9. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.

If you want to read our interview with Coach Caballero, just click here.