James River got off to a rough start on Monday afternoon at Glenvar and lost 8-0 in a Region 2C quarterfinal softball game. With the loss the Knights ended their season at 11-10 while Glenvar moves on to Wednesday’s semifinal round at the Botetourt Sports Complex.
The Knights got down 3-0 after one inning of play and never could mount a serious challenge. Justice Wilfong led off the home first with a hard single to center, and after a one out wild pitch, scored on a Courtney Raines single to right center. Lydia Taylor then lined a two-run homer to center field to complete the scoring in the inning.
Glenvar doubled the lead to 6-0 in the third inning on a solo home run by Katherine Ward and a two- out, two-run single by Wilfong.
The Knights threatened in the fourth and fifth innings, putting two and three runners on base, but could never push across any runs. A Raines triple, Ward single, and a Sophie McCulley double produced two more runs in the sixth inning for Glenvar.
The Knights had nine base runners on three hits, four walks, a hit batter, and an error. Madison Brogan led the Knights with two hits while Lakota Lucado had one. Knights pitcher Ainsley Simmons was touched up for 12 hits and she struck out two while walking four.
“We got off to a bad start and we did not play a fundamentally sound game either,” said River coach Steve Austin. “We definitely could have coached and played better, but I felt like we competed hard in most facets.”
The Knights opened the region with a 7-6 win over Fort Chiswell last week on the road. The game went back and forth before the Knights won in eight innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Cameron Hildebrand opened with a triple and scored on Lakota Lucado’s single. Evie Melvin doubled Lucado to third with one out but the Knights stranded the two runners.
In the Fort Chiswell half of the eighth, Kassidy Caizer singled to open the inning then hitting star Skylar Carroll, who hit a grand slam to tie the game in the fifth, hit a hard ground ball to second baseman Erin Peery. Peery backhand flipped the ball to shortstop Lacey Lucado who fired to first base to complete a crucial 4-6-3 double play. After an error in in outfield extended the drama, Simmons got a called third strike to end the exciting contest.
“Seven of our 10 losses this year were by three runs or less, four of them by two runs or less,” said Simmons. “A couple more wins on the season would have likely put us in an easier bracket at the end, so we have only ourselves to blame. This was a frustrating season for players, coaches, parents and fans because we weren’t too far from being a much better team than we were.”