Leesburg, Va. — The Loudoun County High School softball team got on the board early and then rallied in the fifth and sixth inning to put the game out of reach for Dominion, 10-2, in their Dulles District quarterfinal matchup on May 23 in Leesburg.
The No. 3 Captains were led by senior right fielder Abbey Dobies—who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted in, including a 2-RBI single in the fifth and a 2-out, RBI triple in the sixth.
“We’ve had a ton of games where we’ve just gone crazy after two outs,” Loudoun County head coach Richard “Sully” Sullivan said. “I don’t know what it is about [these games], and I’d have to say I couldn’t be prouder of the way [we’ve] hit all year; we’ve always put up runs.”
The Captains knew it would be a good night when junior center fielder Callie Keys slammed Dominion’s first pitch into right field for a triple, creating the momentum needed to get the offense going.
“[Callie] is batting around .400,” Sullivan said. “She’s a good leadoff hitter and draws walks. Callie is a great player, [and]I just had a feeling she was going to get going early today.”
After Keys’ first hit, the Captains soon racked up a 3-0 lead as freshman shortstop Sharon Manni, sophomore DP Zoey Marinello, and senior first baseman Carly Wolfgang all drove in runs in the first.
“We can hit with anybody,” Sullivan said. “There are a lot of good hitters in this lineup. Callie just hits what they give her at the beginning. [Garlington] bats third and has had six home runs this year; she just clubs the ball. Behind her, we have Camryn [Kolodziej], Abbey Dobies, and Zoey [Marinello]. They just all pound the ball.”
As a whole, the Captains are batting close to .400, and Dobies’ quiet leadership in the dugout and on the field has led her team to success when it has mattered most.
“The coaches really prepared us for the pitcher and gave us a good scouting report on what she was doing and how to hit it,” Dobies said. “And, the runners on base really helped [us secure the win].”
Loudoun County knew they’d be facing Dominion and hard-throwing senior starter Taylor Suchy, so they made sure to practice hitting fastballs and being able to stay back on Suchy’s changeup.
“We were having trouble catching up on a number of fastballs, [and]we figured it was going to be them we were going to play, so we’ve been cranking up the machine and trying to catch up with the fastball,” Sullivan said. “[We] also taught them how to stay back on the changeups because that is where [Suchy] really gets you; she has a great changeup behind [the fastball].”
With the win, Loudoun County advances to the Dulles District semifinal round, where they’ll play No. 2 Loudoun Valley on May 25.
“We are going to prepare by just needing to have the same mindset,” Dobies said. “We have to get our head in the game, don’t stray out of it, and just keep hitting the ball.”
Loudoun County Batting
Loudoun County Pitching
|Abigail Coffman (W)||7||5||2||1||0||2|
|Taylor Suchy (L)||4||4||3||2||2||3|