RC Softball Team’s Run Ends With Regional Quarterfinal Loss To Liberty

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Tuesday, May 30 – A remarkable postseason run came to an end for the Rockbridge County High School softball team, falling to Liberty (Bedford) 11-0 in five innings in the Group 3A West Region quarterfinals on Tuesday in Lexington.

The Wildcats (12-9), coming off capturing their second consecutive Conference 31 championship, struggled to hit off Liberty pitcher Millie Thompson and couldn’t bounce back from a six-run second inning by the Minettes (15-6). During the second, the Wildcats committed three errors. RC had five errors in the game, while Liberty had one. It was the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

Thompson, a freshman who’s already verbally committed to pitch for James Madison University, gave the Wildcats problems with her fastballs mixed with changeup pitches. She pitched all five innings, striking out 10 and allowing one hit and one walk.

Liberty, runner-up in the Conference 30 tournament, took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brianna Whorley hit a fly ball to center field to drive in Haylee Wood. The second-inning barrage for Liberty started with two hits on grounders, and Wood brought in Katie Vaughan with a double to left field. Two RC errors in the infield on the next play allowed two more runs to score, giving Liberty a 4-0 lead. Kendra Ayers then stole home, and Whorley doubled to bring home Rebecca Hensley. An error in the outfield allowed another run to put the Minettes up 7-0.   

Liberty added three more runs in the top of the third. Gracie Dooley’s single to left field drove in Machenze Flood, Wood tripled to right field to drive in Dooley, and Hailey Wright scored on an RC error.

Brie Sensabaugh recorded RC’s lone hit in the bottom of the third, a single on a fly ball to left field, and Kennedy Clemmer reached first base on an error, but Liberty ended the inning with a catch in left field.

Liberty scored its final run in the fifth when Dooley ran home on a groundout.

The Minettes amassed 11 hits, led by Wood with three.

Madison McKemy pitched the first 2.1 innings for RC, striking out two and allowing 10 hits, no walks and eight runs. Clemmer came to the mound for the final 2.2 innings, striking out one and permitting one hits, two walks and three runs.

The Wildcats will miss their six seniors: McKemy, Sensabaugh, Kayleigh Addington, Cari Floyd, Krista McDaniel and Megan Smith. Four of those seniors have signed on to play college softball.

For the full story and photos from this game, with a season wrap-up on the Wildcats, please see our June 7 newspaper. The story and photos from the Wildcats’ run to the conference championship will be in this Wednesday’s paper.

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