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Post 8 scrappy, with solid offense, pitching

Defensive miscues prove costly, but team able to get over shortcomings





End of the road

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Top, Comet senior Carol Fears started against Tuscarora. / June 07, 2018

Early on, Comet softball ran into trouble, facing a stout pitcher who brought excellent movement on her pitches. Eventually, Tuscarora’s Mary Pauly fashioned a one hitter on the way to a 2-0 decision over Halifax County in regional semifinals action.

Halifax County High School is done for the season, missing the state Class 5 semifinals in Richmond Friday. Tuscarora advanced to the state Final Four.

Nevertheless, Halifax made it to state tournament play for the second time in three seasons, under the direction of interim coach Jennifer Rutledge.

The Comets had an emotional mission this season, remembering fallen teammate Olivia Noblin, former Comet Mackenzie Lawter and head coach Woody Bane, who is making a solid recovery from surgery.

Halifax proved to be competitive with Tuscarora in action in Leesburg.

The fourth inning proved to be the point of separation, as Tuscarora scored twice. Halifax never really got a handle on Pauly.

Halifax’s lone senior, Carol Fears, gave it all she had in the circle. She was tagged for both runs. The key hits for Tuscarora included a blazing RBI double by Pauly, followed by a RBI triple delivered by Rosi Santos.

At that point, Rutledge relieved Fears, and reliever Raegan Ridgeway arrived. She had a solid appearance, retiring nine batters in a row. But the damage was done and Pauly had all the working margin she needed.

Tuscarora only had four hits, while striking out twice. Halifax had no answer for Pauly. Sydney Wilborn managed the lone hit, a fifth inning single. She was rubbed out on a smooth double play executed by Tuscarora.

Rutledge said, “their pitcher kept us off the balance the whole game. We were reaching for some that we would normally kind of tee on off. It kind of kept us off-balance the whole game.”

“We got under the ball a whole lot. It kind of made it easy for (Tuscarora). Popups are all day easy,” said Rutledge.

Sydney Wilborn had one solid shot up the middle, and Rutledge said Halifax needed to hit down on the ball, producing more line drivers.

Tuscarora is a good team, said Rutledge.

Nevertheless, Halifax can take real pride in making the final eight of the state tournament.

“I don’t know that a lot of people thought these girls would really come around and do what they did. I’m really proud that I got the opportunity to be the interim coach and help them follow their goal. We had a lot of goals this season. I felt like we met them.

“I’m proud of them,” said Rutledge.

Former Comet head coach Melanie Saunders agreed to help coach in an assistant role for this game. Curly Marstin was unable to get out of a work-related commitment to assist as he has this season.

Halifax got a runner on in its half of the first, when Kaitlyn Richardson reached on an error. But she was wiped out by a fielder’s choice.

The Comets eventually fanned three times. At one point, Pauly retired 11 in a row, just before a solid fifth inning double play by Tuscarora.

Halifax did a good job hanging with Tuscarora. Afterwards, Halifax players resolved to come back next season with enhanced intensity for next season.

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