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Softball team maturing as postseason progresses
SoVaNow.com / June 05, 2014
Halifax County High School varsity softball coach Melanie Saunders has seen this year’s Comet softball team mature on the field, and last night, HCHS met Briar Woods with a state 5-A berth on the line.
Halifax, now 18-7, has opened some eyes with this run.
“It’s been unexpected by a lot of people, but after the first two games, the talent was there. The kids had the talent ... it was just trying to get them to work together. These kids really hadn’t really played together a lot,” Saunders said.
“The teams in the past, they knew each other’s movement, each other’s instinct. They knew what they were going to do. This group has had to learn that,” said Saunders.
“We’ve even still been moving people around the last couple of weeks,” said Saunders.
“They’ve come together at the right time,” said Saunders.
Saunders and the team had another four-hour charter bus ride yesterday, but made no excuses about the trip to Briar Woods.
The Comets certainly earned confidence with the 5-1 win over Marshall in Falls Church.
“A lot of times, we play better on the road. That team (George Marshall) was good. We thought we got them with that one run, and they came back the same inning,” said Saunders.
“We kept battling and were able to get baserunners on and move them over into scoring position, where in the past, we’ve been leaving them on first base,” said Saunders.
HCHS sealed the win in the top of the ninth.
Kye-Neisha Logan stepped up with a remarkable at bat.
“She had been struggling a little bit with the bat. We told her, ‘we’re not going to move you. We’re going to keep you there. We know you can do it,” said Saunders.
Logan justified the faith of the Comet staff, sending a deep three-run blast that propelled HCHS into last night’s regional semifinals.
It was the hardest blast Saunders had seen of Logan.
HCHS also avoided strikeout issues, even with good movement early. Halifax made adjustments and showed improvement as the game progressed.
Taylor Barnes also came through with an excellent mound performance against Marshall.
“She got momentum as we got through the game. The last inning was probably her strongest inning, the bottom of the ninth. She really went out there and did her job.
She and Ashley (Watts, the Comet catcher) are a good duo there,” said Saunders.
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