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Fluco softball team creams Western Albemarle

Game cut short by mercy rule

The Fluco softball team’s 11-run first inning on Tuesday (March 28) sent the team flying toward a 21-2 win over Western Albemarle.

It rained early in the day, so there was initially some doubt that the Flucos would play. However, by game time the softball field was playable, and the Flying Flucos took full advantage by getting off to a strong start against the Warriors.

Coach Tre Smith’s team sent 14 batters to the plate in the first inning. Senior first baseman Sophie Kershner, batting in the cleanup spot, accomplished in one inning what many batters would love to do in a game, once in a season. Kershner, in her first at bat of the inning, ripped a double to right, her opposite field, that drove in two. In her second at bat of the inning, Kershner viciously lined a ball to left center that cleared the fence for a three-run home run. The home run scored the ninth, 10th and 11th runs of the inning. Clearly, the game was over almost before it had started.

The Flucos added a run in the second inning, as Gracie Walton, Maddie Kennedy and Cassie Kingsley all singled. Meanwhile, Fluco senior pitcher Becca Crothers retired six Warrior batters in a row on four ground outs and two infield pop ups. While the Flucos were hitting the ball all over the diamond, the Warriors could not get the ball out of the infield. 

In the bottom of the third inning, the Fluco offense exploded again. This time 13 batters came to the plate, and nine runs resulted. In the third, the Flucos had nine hits. Second baseman Tyler Haislip started things off with a single. Crothers and right fielder Walton followed with singles and left fielder Hannah Breeden drew a walk. Kingsley, who was the catcher for this game, followed with her fourth consecutive single that drove in two runs. Third baseman Toria Belew also singled.  Kershner then added another double to drive in two runs, giving her seven RBI for the game. Tyler Haislip had a triple into the left field corner for her third hit of the game, and Crothers had a double to drive in the Flucos 21st and final run. 

The Warriors got a two-run home run in the fourth from their beleaguered pitcher, but that was the end of the scoring. Smith brought in junior Maria Tawney to pitch the top of the fifth inning, and she retired the side, with a strikeout, a ground out and pop-up. The game was ended after five innings on the mercy rule.

In addition to hitting with abandon, the Flucos also played well in the field. The defensive play of the game was turned in by Kershner who made a diving catch on a bunt down the first base line that was turned into a double play.

After the game, Smith was understandably pleased with his teams’ offensive explosion. He noted that the girls are coming together and playing well as a team. He was also pleased with the defense and the pitching. The game was obviously an all-around good performance.

The Flucos played at Charlottesville High on March 30. After spring break they will return to action on April 13, when they host Orange County. On April 18 and April 20 they will be on the road at Monticello High and Albemarle High. On April 24 and April 25 the Fluco softball team hosts Spotswood High and Charlottesville.