In recent years the Botetourt Bash softball tournament has been known for cold temperatures and inclement weather, and last weekend’s “Bash” was no exception. The 14-school tournament, scheduled for two days, was limited to Friday night as Saturday’s championship round was called off due to the threat of snow.
The teams that could make it Friday played an abbreviated schedule at the Botetourt Sports Complex. Lord Botetourt hooked up with Tazewell and took a 10-0 win while James River lost to Lebanon, 15-0.
“The Botetourt Sports Complex crew deserves a lot of credit,” said Lord Botetourt coach Cheryl Shockley. “They did an incredible job. The fields were in amazing shape on Friday night.”
LB’s Meredith Wells pitched a one-hit shutout for the win over Tazewell. She struck out six and walked none over six innings of near perfect softball. The Cavaliers played errorless ball behind her.
Hannah Mundy led Botetourt in hitting with a three-for-three nights, including two doubles and three runs batted in. Taylor Overstreet had a single and a double and drove in three and Kloe Bacon had a single and a double and two RBIs, including the winning hit that ended the game by slaughter rule. Botetourt finished with 11 hits overall.
The James River girls faced Class 2 powehouse Lebanon in their one game in the weather-shortened Bash. River had to be almost perfect to have any chance and they were far from it. The Knights were hanging around, trailing 4-0 after five innings, when they fell apart in the sixth inning. The Knights committed seven errors, six with two outs, and allowed six hits in an 11-run inning leading to a 15-0 loss.
“We improved from allowing 10 walks in our opener to allowing three on Friday night, two intentional,” said coach Steve Austin. “But we inexplicably went from zero errors to nine. I know that’s not who we are so I don’t expect anything like that to happen again.”
Lebanon used a deft short game to put two runs on the board in the third inning and added single runs in the fourth and fifth to put a little distance between them and the Knights. James River, facing Lebanon all-state ace Mo Hamm, left the bases loaded in the first and had two base runners in the fourth.
Kaitlin Simmons pitched five solid innings for River and retired the first batter in the sixth before tiring and giving up three straight hits and coming out of the game. Reliever Lacey Lucado retired her first batter on a sacrifice fly before the two out error spree began. Lucado allowed six runs, all unearned.
The Knights managed only three hits in the game, all singles, two by Lakota Lucado and one by Sara Faust. Cameron Hildebrand coaxed two walks from Hamm.
“Fortunately, this only counts as one loss,” said Austin. “With where we are with this year’s team, I was encouraged that we hung around with a strong state contender for most of the game. Of course, I lost a lot of that good feeling when we melted down in the sixth.”
James River falls to 1-1 with the loss and is scheduled to host Lord Botetourt on Thursday in Springwood. LB was 2-0 prior to that game.
Today, Wednesday, the Knights are scheduled to host Parry McCluer in a makeup game and LB is in Salem to play the Spartans at the James I. Moyer Complex. That will be LB’s last game prior to spring break, but River is scheduled to play at Parry McCluer this Friday before taking a week off.