By Sarah Snare
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Purcellville (June 5, 2016) — The girls of Woodgrove High School softball continued their reign on Friday night, June 3, in an 8-0 shutout game against the Fauquier High School Falcons, earning the Wolverines the VHSL 4A West region championship — their sixth consecutive region title.
Both the home and visitor stands were packed with fans- hooting, hollering and repping their respective colors. When the bleachers filled up, spectators lined the fences and set up chairs in the grass, not wanting to miss out on any of the excitement.
The Woodgrove Wolverines wasted no time getting into the game, as they racked up run after run during the first inning. Junior Lexi Acton started off the scoring action with a bunt single, allowing her teammate junior Emily Alexander to score following a throwing error by the pitcher while Acton herself made it to third base. Senior Alexa Dolby brought the final run count of the first inning to five with a home-run.
Thunder growled as Woodgrove came up to bat at the bottom of third – the crowd moaning in fear of a cancellation. However, the Wolverines growled back, keeping both the storms and the Falcons at bay as they scored three more runs, bringing the final score to 8-0.The stands went wild as Woodgrove principal Sam Shipp crowned the Lady Wolverines the VHSL 4A West Region Champions.
“[My girls] were really sharp tonight,” Woodgrove head coach Joe Spicer said. “They came in focused and relaxed. They’re very great competitors and they wanted to win tonight, so they went after it early and got it.”
With only one loss this season, to 22 wins, everyone wants to know the secret of Woodgrove softball.
“Our team depth is really, really strong,” Spicer explained. “We’re strong all the way through the line-up and that makes it really difficult for the other coach to get a chance to relax.”
With five seniors on the team, Woodgrove will be losing some of this depth. Alexa Dolby will be attending Georgetown University; Adriana Erickson, James Madison University; Hallie Daughtry, Cedarville University; Kelsey Rathjen, Ferrum College; and Jenna Barr, Shenandoah University. Dolby, Erickson and Daughtry have all committed to play softball at their respective schools.
Even with the loss of these key players, they won’t be out of the competition next year, as their star pitcher Camryn Dolby is only a sophomore and already verbally committed to play for Boston College.
From here, the Wolverines are only two wins away from their third state title. Next up is the state semifinal against VHSL 4A East Region runner-up King George High School at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. A win against the Foxes will take Woodgrove to the VHSL 4A state championship game, which will also take place at Liberty University.The Fauquier Falcons, although they lost Friday night, are not finished yet. They will be headed into the VHSL 4A state tournament as well, playing the Clippers of Grafton High School in the state semifinal game. If the Falcons can overpower the Clippers, Fauquier will advance to the state championship game, playing either Woodgrove or King George for the state title.
“We’re going to keep working like we’ve been working all year,” Fauquier head coach Mark Ott said. “We practice fundamentals every day and we work hard. It’s on their shoulders now.”
In preparation for the state tournament, Spicer says his girls just need a few days off.
“At this point in the year everyone is mentally fatigued,” he said. “So rest is important.”
The girls, however, are ready to keep working.
“We just need to keep focused on practice and not let up at all,” Acton said. “Our team is really good at keeping focused throughout the game and staying hard at work, so we just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”