Cavaliers clobber Royals on road
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Apr 11, 2013, 13:46
Prince George left fielder Casey Abernathy slides safely back to first base to avoid a double play during a non-district game against Clover Hill on Monday. Abernathy hit a lead-off double in the first inning and scored the Royals’ only run in an 8-1 loss (photo by Jacob Vaughan).
PRINCE GEORGE – The force is strong with the Clover Hill High School softball team. On Monday, Prince George felt the brunt of it.
The visiting Cavaliers assembled their first multi-home run game of the season and pounded out a dozen hits against the Royals, overturning an early deficit en route to an 8-1 non-district victory in Prince George.
“I knew they had the power,” said Clover Hill coach Glenn Corbin. “Overall, we have a power hitting team. We just hadn’t shown it yet. This was only our fourth game, and we’re still a little rusty from all the rain.”
All 10 Cavaliers batters reached base, though the Dominion District representatives stranded nine baserunners in their first game back from spring break.
The Royals elevated that figure by turning two inning-ending double plays – one in the first, the other in the fifth – to keep the Cavaliers from breaking the game open.
“The double plays helped us out,” said Prince George coach Pat Waguespack. “You can’t always count on double plays, but we try to make all the defensive plays we’re called on to make.”
Prince George second baseman Haleigh Edwards fields a groundball during a non-district game against Clover Hill on Monday (photo by Jacob Vaughan).
Clover Hill more than matched Prince George’s defensive prowess.
The Cavaliers limited the Royals to three hits, two of which came in the opening frame. Prince George opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Whitney Clement’s RBI single to right-center field plated Casey Abernathy, who reached on a lead-off double.
The subsequent 1-0 lead lasted only until the second pitch of the second inning.
Skylar Toth, Clover Hill’s clean-up hitter, tied the game at 1-1 with a high-arching solo home run to left-center. Rachel Cumiskey, who bats third in the Cavaliers’ lineup, followed suit in the third inning with a two-run, line-drive shot that cleared the fence in nearly the same spot.
“We did small ball for a little bit, but those two home runs didn’t hurt,” Corbin said. “We hit some long balls, but we also tried to squeeze a couple in.”
By the time the barrage was complete, the visitors had a 4-1 lead they would never relinquish.
“I certainly want to recognize the way Clover Hill hit the ball,” Waguespack said. “No doubt about it, they put a lot of pressure on us. We need to play teams that are better. I think they did a great job of taking advantage of a couple of miscues, but we didn’t have many.”
The Cavaliers cushioned their standing as the game’s clear frontrunner by adding a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
The fifth-inning flurry was the culmination of four consecutive singles. Toth and shortstop Sam Scifres started the rally and circled the bases thanks to RBIs from Laura Palombella and Hannah Hull.
Scifres capped a sparkling offensive performance with a two-run single that provided the final margin in the penultimate frame. A picture of consistency, Scifres went 4-for-4 at the plate with 2 RBIs.
Abernathy, Clements and senior catcher Sydney Landreth accounted for Prince George’s three base knocks. The Royals were largely frustrated by Clover Hill’s underclassmen pitching duo of sophomore starter Kayla Keiter and Hull, a freshman left-hander who debuted in the fourth frame.
“Both of them pitched well,” Corbin said. “They had good placement on the ball. I was worried about the heat, but they worked through it and it didn’t get as hot as I thought it would down here.”
That is, aside from the red-hot Clover Hill batters, who saddled Prince George starter Ginny Miller with the pitching loss. Miller exited with the one out and the bases loaded in the fifth, and reliever Jennifer Woodlief pitched the remaining 2 2/3 innings.
With the result, Clover Hill improved to 2-2 (1-1 Dominion District) on the season while Prince George slipped to 3-2 (2-1 Central).
“We want to win them all,” Waguespack said. “And you always want to be at your best. Certainly the girls tried, but we didn’t seem to be up to what I think we can produce out there.”
CHHS: 013 022 0 – 8 12 2
PGHS: 100 000 0 – 1 3 1
Keiter, Hull (4) and Cumiskey; Miller, Woodlief (5) and Landreth. WP: Keiter. LP: Miller.