By Owen Gotimer
Purcellville (May 30, 2016) – After striking out the side in the top of the first inning and getting run support in the form of a solo home run in the bottom of the frame, Woodgrove High School sophomore ace Camryn Dolby knew she could settle in in the Lady Wolverines’ VHSL 4A West region quarterfinal against Liberty High School on May 30 in Purcellville.
After striking out the side in the top of the second inning and getting run support in the form of her own two-run home run in the bottom of the frame, Dolby knew she was in for a special night.
After striking out the final two she faced in the top of the seventh inning, Dolby celebrated the, 6-2, win with her teammates and unknowingly celebrated history.
The Division I Boston College-commit struck out 18: the tenth most strikeouts in a single game by any pitcher in VHSL history.
“I was just trying to throw my best and do the best that I could,” Dolby said. “Our team was really ready for this game, and we just all came out ready to play.”
Dolby struck out the first ten Liberty batters she faced and did not allow the Lady Eagles to put the ball in play until Liberty sophomore first baseman Ally Fitzwater grounded out to the shortstop in the top of the fifth inning.
“Anytime the other team isn’t putting the ball in play makes it a lot easier on our defense,” Woodgrove head coach Joe Spicer said.The Wolverines got the start to their run support they needed from senior first baseman and Division I James Madison-commit Adriana Erickson who homered in the first inning.
“In regional play, you don’t know every team real well, so it gave us a chance to relax,” Spicer said. “We got a chance to take away some of the things Liberty wanted to do, and it opened up the playbook a little bit for us because we weren’t worried about pushing across that first run.”
Dolby added an insurance two-run homer — which turned into the game-deciding home run — in the second inning plating herself and her senior sister Alexa.“[Scoring runs] definitely makes it easier for me to pitch because I know my teammates will be backing me up the whole time,” Dolby said. “I love pitching and hitting, so I was just having fun.”
While Dolby cruised through most of the game, Liberty did put a stint in all of the fun she was having when junior centerfielder Kourtney Leazer and sophomore pitcher Makaela Kestner hit solo home runs in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively.
“The kids played hard all season long. They came out today a little shell-shocked in the second round of regionals, but I have no complaints about it,” Liberty head coach Ryan Washington said. “We’re a really young team – predominantly sophomores and freshmen – so they played really well for a young team.”Washington and her young Lady Eagles team will get back to the drawing boards hoping to return a more refined team in 2017.
“The work isn’t over,” Washington said. “We start working for next year now, so that’s what we’re going to start doing. We just need to improve on what we did this year.”
While Liberty starts to prepare for next spring, Dolby and the Lady Wolverines will start to prepare for a VHSL 4A West region semifinal against William Byrd High School in Purcellville on Wednesday, June 1.
“Right now, they’re a total unknown to me. I’ve heard from a couple of sources that they have a legitimate Division I pitcher,” Spicer said. “Hopefully my coaching buddies over at Loudoun Valley will be willing to tell me a few things. We’ll have to do some research in the next 24 hours.”
Alexander 0-4, K
Acton 1-4, 2B
Erickson 1-2, HR, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI
Daughtry 1-4, 2 R
Dolby, A. 0-2, sac bunt, 2 ROE, R
Dolby, C. 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI
Donches 0-3, ROE
Hockman 0-3, 3 K
Kestner 1-2, HR, BB, K, R, RBI
Waln 0-3, 2 K
Hatcher 0-3, 3 K
Fitzwater 0-3, 2 K
Leazer 1-2, HR, R, RBI, K
Garnett 0-1, K
Frazier 0-2, 2 K
Mallam 0-2, 2 K
Allen 0-1, K
Dolby W 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 18 K
Garnett L 2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Kestner 4 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 K