Fluco softball falls to William Monroe 9-8 on last inning score

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluvanna County High School softball team hosted the Dragons from William Monroe High on Saturday, April 16, in the first game of a three-team doubleheader. In this format, team 1 plays team 2, team 2 plays team 3 and then team 3 plays team 1. In their second game, the team played Broadway High School. In the opener, the Dragons put up three runs in the first inning  and added five more in the third. The Flucos also scored three in the first and added three in the fifth and  two more in the sixth to make the score 8-8 going into the seventh and final inning.

Unfortunately for the Flucos, the Dragons managed to score a run in the top of the seventh inning without a hit and the Flucos put runners at first and second but could not score. There was a lot more activity in this game than is often the case in softball where pitchers tend to dominate.

William Monroe got things going with three runs in the top of the first inning, which they scored in a fairly traditional way (i.e., double, walk, three-run home run.) The Flucos responded with three runs, with some help from the Dragons. Jillian Davis, the Flucos’ freshman second baseman, led off and reached on an error. Harley Kirby, the junior shortstop, walked. Brooke Napier, the junior centerfielder, followed with a solid single to left. The Dragons left fielder charged in hoping to scoop the ball up and hold Davis at third, but the ball went under her glove and rolled all the way to the fence. Davis and Kirby scored easily, and Napier ended up at third base. Napier scored on a close play at the plate after a wild pitch. 

In the top of the third it looked like the Dragons had put the game away. Their bats really woke-up and four singles, a double and a fifth single plated five runs. However, Fluco Coach Tre Smith brought Kirby in from shortstop to pitch starting in the fourth inning and she retired the side in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Meanwhile, the Flucos were clawing back. They sent eight batters to the plate in the fifth and scored three runs and seven batters to the plate in the sixth scoring two for an 8-8 tie. In the fifth, batter Davis led off. A left-handed slap hitter, she tripled down the left field line. Kirby was hit by a pitch. Napier singled to score Davis. Junior first baseman Makayla Gentry walked. Sophomore catcher Sydney Gibson reached on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore third baseman Kirsten Fitzgerald walked and sophomore right fielder Madison Owen singled.

In the sixth, the Flucos scored two to tie, without a hit. Braelyn Via led off and struck-out on a low pitch that got past the Dragons’ catcher. Via alertly dashed to first, beating the throw to put the first batter of the inning on base. Davis then worked a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners up and Via scored on an infield error. Another wild pitch brought Davis in with the equalizing run.

In the top of the seventh, the Dragons copied the Flucos by scoring without a hit. The lead-off batter reached first on hit batter. A fielder’s choice was followed by a walk and an infield error to score one, and that was all the Dragons needed. In the bottom of the seventh, Madeline Schmidt, the Flucos sophomore left fielder doubled, after a pop-out first out. Another pop up followed. The Dragons then gave Davis an intentional walk. And, a pop out to the catcher ended the game.

 In their second game, the Flucos were victorious over the Broadway High Gobblers 14-6. The Flucos had three multiple scoring innings, putting up three in the third, five in the fourth and four in the sixth. Fitzgerald pitched the win and she helped her cause with a home run and two singles. She also had impressive support from the Fluco hitters. Kirby had a single and a home run, Via had a double and two singles and Owen had a double and two singles.

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