By Owen Gotimer
Leesburg (May 19, 2016) — In the first inning, the Heritage High School softball team reached base safely in twelve straight plate appearances, scored eleven runs and gave Pride junior ace Emily McCarty all of the run support she would need to take down the Patriots, 17-0, in their Conference 21B quarterfinal clash with Park View High School on May 18 in Leesburg.
“We haven’t been supporting Emily as much as we should be,” Heritage head coach Courtney Aubel said. “I think, in this game, we really wanted to show Emily that going into the playoffs we have her back.”
McCarty actually got the Pride scoring started when she singled in senior centerfielder Amy Zibrowski to give Heritage a 1-0 lead just four batters into the game. McCarty then stole second base and a throw by the catcher trying to catch McCarty plated senior shortstop Kaly Winslow – who reached on a bloop single to centerfield – as the Pride were in full motion.
“I just went up there trying to think about having some quality at-bats, being smart up there and getting some runs on the board,” said Winslow who is committed to play softball at North Carolina at Wilmington.
The eleven-run first inning was capped off when Mary Washington-commit Courtney Shea hit a line drive double to left field scoring Winslow and McCarty’s courtesy runner freshman Abigail Iandolo – for the second time each in the first inning.
The eleven runs would prove to be all of the run support McCarty would need in the circle for Heritage as she cruised through her five innings of work allowing just one hit while striking out nine.
After the first inning, the Pride’s offensive attack slowed, but didn’t halt as Heritage scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings after going three-up-three-down in the bottom of the second.
“The most important thing is we have to keep our energy up the whole game because that’s been a tough thing for us all year,” Aubel said. “We really want to beat County, so we’re going to come out strong.”
On May 20, Heritage will travel to Loudoun County High School for the Pride’s third match up of the season with their crosstown rival Lady Raiders. The stakes in this rivalry game are much higher than the first two rounds: the winner advances to the Conference 21B championship.
“We’ve had really good practices, and we’ve stayed in really good shape all year,” Aubel said. “We have a really good group of seniors who are really good captains and who have led their teammates to a really good season.”
Overton 0-3, ROE, R, SB
Zibrowski 0-1, ROE, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 SB
Winslow 3-3, 3B, HBP, 4 R, 2 RBI, SB
McCarty 3-3, 3B, BB, 3 R, 4 RBI
Giannini 1-3, sac fly, ROE, R, RBI
Shea 1-4, 2B, ROE, R, 3 RBI
Gallagher 0-2, BB, R
Spann 0-2, sac fly, R, RBI, SB
Champ 1-2, RBI
Goulet 0-1, ROE, R, SB
Kopp 1-1, R
Iandolo 0-1, SB
Scofield 0-2, 2 K
Mills 1-2, ROE
Daniels 0-2, 2 K
Bladen 0-2, 2 K
Vasquez Zelaya 0-2
Portillo 0-2, 2 K
Garcia-Morales 0-1, K
McCarty 5 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K
Daniels L 3 IP, 14 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 0 K
Mills 1 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 HBP