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Lady Comets advance in regionals

SoVaNow.com / June 05, 2014
Taylor Barnes delivered a dazzling pitching performance and Kye-Neisha Logan slammed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth, sending Halifax County High School varsity softball past stubborn George Marshall, 5-1, Monday in Region 5-A action.

Halifax was back on the road last night, playing at Briar Woods. The loser saw its season end; the winner advanced to the region 5-A north finals and the state tournament. Two region 5-A north region finalists are scheduled to meet Friday.

HCHS has bounced back in style from a tough loss to PH-Ashland team in the conference 16 finals.

Halifax went down in a bitter region loss at exactly the same point in the season a year ago.

Last night, Halifax sought to write a different chapter. The Comets gained confidence with a quality win in extra innings Monday night in Falls Church.

“My pitching (Monday) was on and I stayed strong throughout the game. Definitely in the end, our hitting came through at a big time, at a big moment,” Barnes said.

Barnes said Logan’s blast gave her “run support to go out and pitch my game, and know that I had my defense behind me.”

“We’re starting to hit better, and go more with the pitches like we’re supposed to,” added Barnes.

Megan Puckett said the win Monday was “definitely a relief. It was a close game. They were a good team. We fought through it and we came through in the end.

“We’re definitely not a team to give up. We always fight to the end.” Puckett said the team chemistry is developing.

The Comets started slowly. Barnes got a two-out single in the first, but was stranded. Halifax went down in 1-2-3 fashion in both the second and third innings.

HCHS did not score until the top of the fourth.

Barnes walked, eventually stole third, and scampered home on a throwing error from the Marshall catcher. The throw careened off the third baseman’s glove.

Marshall tied the contest in the fourth on two hits, including a double. Barnes rallied and got the final out of the inning on a strikeout.

From there, Barnes remained on track.

The sophomore hurler struck out eight, scattered six hits and walked two.

Barnes has delivered two critical performances in the circle for the Comets in regional action thus far.

Halifax finished with three hits, but the Comets made the most of their opportunities.

In the decisive top of the ninth, Barnes reached on an error and Ashley Watts got the run home after a Marshall error.

Cecilie Elliott reached on an error.

With one out, Logan sent Marshall packing with an impressive three-run homer. That blast sealed the deal for the Comets.

“It was an inside pitch. I went with the pitch,” Logan said.

It was also Logan’s first homer of the season.

“That was great. It was an intense at-bat. She fought and she got a good pitch, and she drove it,” said Puckett.

Barnes proved strong and on-target for Marshall’s final chance, stamping out the home team’s season with three straight outs in its last at-bat.

Briar Woods had a closer call, slipping past Massaponax, 2-0, in other Region 5-A action.

On the other side of the bracket, Stone Bridge also defeated North Stafford, 5-3. Patrick Henry-Ashland cruised past Tuscarora, 11-1. Stone Bridge and PH-Ashland met in the other regional semifinal.

The semifinal winners will clash tomorrow for the 5-A north region crown. Both regional finalists are assured of a state 5-A berth.

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