Atlee’s still spotless.
Tuesday night, the Raiders completed a 5-0 shutout win at Glen Allen to advance to 6-0 in the Capital, 10-0 overall and remain one of two unbeaten teams in the Central Region. The other is defending Group AAA State Champion Cosby (8-0).
“‘O’ and ‘O,’” echoed Atlee head coach John Earley. “We talk about that all the time, and these girls are truly taking this one game at a time.”
Even though senior ace Jessica Holte had her way, striking out 15 Jaguars, there were times the game felt in doubt. The Raiders left the bases loaded in
the third, and entering the fifth, there was a feeling that if the veteran Jaguars could keep the Raiders to one run, anything could happen.
“It was a little frustrating, because we would undercut the ball, giving them easy fly balls,” Earley opined. “We talked in the dugout about coming straight through with the bat and that we could drop a ball in the outfield because they were playing pretty deep. The girls know, and they figured it out.”
After Blair Jones singled, Cameron Hall advanced her to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt. Taylor Sutherland reached base, and, two batters later with two out, Holte lined a gapper into left-center. Jaguar center fielder Glenn Walters’ diving catch attempt was just short, and the Raiders seized the game at 3-0. An inning later, two more runs made the cushion stronger, and only strengthened Holte, who struck out five of the final six batters she faced to finish off Glen Allen.
“[Catcher] Cameron was doing really well calling pitches. The rise ball was working really well, so we stuck to that,” Holte said.
After a non-district game Wednesday with Douglas Freeman, the Raiders travel to Hanover to face a hungry Hawks team that needs a signature win to stay in the Capital District race. Hanover rocked Varina Tuesday night, 13-1 in five innings, pounding out 17 hits. Kiandra Mitchum had two hits and picked up the victory in the circle to improve the Hawks record to 3-2 in the Capital, 4-3 overall.
Also on the road Tuesday, Lee-Davis remained undefeated in April, disposing Highland Springs 10-0 in five innings. The Confederates put the game away with a seven-run fifth inning, and were led by Amy Wingfield and Kinsee Stonebreaker offensively, each with three hits.
Lauren McIntyre pitched a one-hitter as the Lee-Davis winning streak reached eight, and, more importantly, they stayed a game behind Atlee in the Capital District with a 5-1 mark. They are 9-2 overall and know a trip to Atlee is now less than a week away. They finish April against the Raiders on Tuesday.
In the Colonial District, Patrick Henry remains on top at 7-0. Monday, the Patriots traveled to Dinwiddie and shut out the favorites to win the Central District, 4-0.
Candace Whittemore continued to impress in the circle, striking out nine Generals while scattering three hits. Hunter Glave had three of the Patriots’ eight hits as Patrick Henry’s overall mark moved to 9-2.
They return to the Colonial Thursday to begin a four-game road trip as a prohibitive favorite at John Marshall before a showdown Monday against the surprise team in the Colonial, J.R. Tucker. The Tigers are 5-0 in the Colonial, and also travel to Hanover in a non-district battle on Thursday.