Friday night’s softball game between county rivals Culpeper and Eastern View may have been low-scoring, but it certainly didn’t lack for excitement.
There was a Mike Trout-esque diving catch by Culpeper center fielder Madison Kauffmann in the fourth inning. In the sixth, shortstop Kaitlyn Snuffer smacked a two-run home run that, at the time, provided the game’s first runs and put the Blue Devils in the driver’s seat for a win.
Unfortunately for Culpeper, visiting Eastern View managed to one-up them when it counted the most.
Macey Moore scored the go-ahead run on a fielding error in the top of the 10th inning, and Katie Scott worked her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half of the frame, lifting the Cyclones to a 3-2 victory over the Blue Devils.
“I think the main thing tonight was that the girls just never gave up,” Eastern View coach Lonnie Myers said. “I mean, we had our chances in the fifth and sixth innings and just couldn’t score. But we hung in there and pulled it out.”
Moore led off the 10th inning with a double to right field and advanced to third base on Katelin Hasse’s groundout. The Cyclones then attempted a safety squeeze play with Ryelee Brown at the plate, but she popped out to Blue Devils third baseman Ally Ragle for the second out.
The next batter was Scott. She slapped a ground ball to Ragle, who made a low throw to first baseman Allison Sanitra. As Sanitra scrambled to scoop the ball up, Scott slid safely across the bag and Moore raced home to put Eastern View (1-2) up 3-2.
In the bottom of the inning, Scott appeared to be on her way to slamming the door shut on Culpeper (1-1). She struck out Ragle and Katie Botkin after allowing a leadoff single to Izzy Guerrero, but then gave up a single to Madison Steder and a walk to Sanitra to load the bases with Kauffmann due up.
Myers had elected to intentionally walk Kauffmann, an all-region performer a season ago, earlier in the game. With no bases open to do so again, Scott managed to induce a weak ground ball from Kauffmann to Hasse, who stepped on third for a force out to end the proceedings.
Myers was pleased with how his team played after tough losses to Fauquier and Kettle Run earlier this week.
“We took two beatings earlier this week, but we came back and played good ball tonight,” he said. “But it’s never hard to get the kids to play in these hometown rivalry games—they were up for this one.”
The heroics of Moore and Scott wouldn’t have been possible without a seventh-inning rally by the Cyclones.
Hannah Werth’s RBI triple to right field pulled Eastern View within a run, 2-1, with one out in the frame. Two batters later, Tristen Norris singled down the right-field line, tying the score at 2-apiece.
From her vantage point in the third-base dugout, Culpeper coach Janice Gillespie believed Norris’s hit was a foul ball.
“I mean no disrespect to [Eastern View], but that ball was very foul,” Gillespie said. “I’m very disappointed that they called it fair, because that tied things up.”
Cammi Easter led Eastern View with three hits in the game. Scott, Hasse, Brown, Werth and Cheyenne Barlow all added two hits apiece.
Scott pitched a complete game for the Cyclones, scattering 12 hits, striking out nine and walking six.
Like Scott, the Blue Devils’ Kristen Rodier also went the distance on the mound. She allowed 15 hits, struck out six and walked a pair.
Ragle and Steder each had three hits to pace the Culpeper offense, while Guerrero tallied two.
Gillespie was visibly drained after the loss, but expressed nothing but pride in her team.
“I have nothing but good things to say about my girls,” she said. “I thought they played really well. We usually split our two meetings with [Eastern View], so I’m looking forward to the rematch over there next Friday.”