The James River girls will have a first round bye in the Region 2C softball tournament, then meet the winner of a game between Radford and Alleghany. River’s opener is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Springwood.
The weather could have an impact on the schedule. Radford and Alleghany were scheduled to play on Wednesday but it was still raining hard on Tuesday and inclement weather was a possibility the rest of the week. However, whenever Radford and Alleghany can play, River will be waiting for the winner.
The Region 2C tournament consists of 16 teams with two eight-team brackets. River is the second seed, behind Appomattox, in one of the brackets. Dan River and Chatham are the top two seeds in the opposite bracket. Bracket finals are scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, and the two winners meet for the Region 2C championship on June 3. The bracket finals and championship game are all scheduled for Christiansburg High School.
River comes into the tournament with a 15-4 overall record after ending the regular season with an extra inning win over Radford last week. The Knights took a 3-2 win in nine innings in Springwood.
After a scoreless first and second inning, Radford put two runs on the board in the top of the third when pitcher Ally Brown hit a long two-run home run to center field. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when, with two outs, Elly Lackey tripled to right center and scored on a fielding error to cut the lead in half.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with two outs, Cloey Joynes walked and Ripley Barry doubled for River. Joynes scored on a throwing error by the catcher down the third base line, tying the game 2-2 and sending it into extra innings.
In the top of the ninth inning Radford’s Autumn Howard was put on second base as the International Tie-Breaker runner. Brown muscled a looping hit to left field but Howard, who hesitated, was thrown out at third base by River left fielder Abby Wilson. On the next pitch, Ella Cox hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the bottom of the ninth Wilson was the Knights’ ITB runner. Makayla Petty sacrificed her to third base and Lackey hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Wilson with the winning run.
Knights winning pitcher Austyn Moran (15-4) allowed only five hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks. Lackey, Kaycee Kincaid and Lexi McCullough each had two hits.
James River ended their regular season with a Three Rivers District record of 7-3.
“I am extremely proud of my team,” said River coach Steve Austin. “We could have given in to everything we had going on but we refused to lose. In the end, virtually everyone did something to help us pull this thing out. This was a really good softball game to be a part of.”