Madison County vs Richlands VHSL Softball

Chloe Newberry of Richlands yells to the dugout after a leadoff double against Madison County in the 2018 VHSL Class 2 state softball finals. 

BASEBALL

Class 1

Patrick Henry (18-6) vs. Lancaster (20-3)

At Calfee Park (Pulaski)

Today, 9 a.m.

The Skinny: The Patrick Henry Rebels are in the state semifinals for the second straight season. They lost to Honaker by a 3-2 count in last year’s semis. … Patrick Henry has compiled a 74-20 record over the past four seasons. … After finishing third in the Hogoheegee District tournament, the Rebels have won five straight games and claimed the Region 1D title. Four of those victories have been decided by three runs or fewer. “These guys are coming together as a unit,” said PH coach Tommy Thomas. “We have a lot of good athletes and now they are playing as a team.” … Senior left-hander Isaac Eldreth has been PH’s top pitcher and also has a .410 batting average. Colby Taylor is hitting at a .434 clip in the playoffs and went 4-for-4 with a home run in a 6-3 state quarterfinal triumph over Galax. … Thomas is in his sixth season as PH’s head baseball coach. He is also the school’s head girls basketball coach and guided the Rebels to the state hoops quarterfinals back in March. … Lancaster boss Creston “Welby” Saunders also pulls unique double duty. He manages a Wells Fargo Advisors branch in Kilmarnock, Virginia, to go along with his coaching gig. “The company and my co-workers are great at working with me, especially the last few weeks when playoff baseball gets started and I am in and out of the office,” Saunders said. … Lancaster dropped a 5-3 decision to J.J. Kelly in the 2011 Group A, Division 2 state semifinals. The Red Devils were 1A state runner-up to William Campbell in 2015. … Lancaster won the Region 1A championship and three of its last four victories have come via shutout. “Our pitching staff has been our strength,” Saunders said. … Matthew Kleinfelter (10-0, 0.45 ERA, 93 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings pitched) and Nicky Wohleking (7-2, 1.63 ERA) lead the pitching staff. Kleinfelter struck out 12 and yielded just two hits over 6 2/3 innings in Lancaster’s 5-0 win over William Campbell in the state quarterfinals. Spencer Crittenden (.426 batting average), Kleinfelter (.400, two home runs, 20 RBIs) and Wohleking (.391, three homers, 35 RBIs) are Lancaster’s big boppers. … All three of Lancaster’s losses came at the hands of Northern Neck District rival Northumberland. … Lancaster is located in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia. The Red Devils will try to keep their season alive against a team from far Southwest Virginia. “[PH seems] to be peaking right now,” Saunders said.

Up Next: The winner plays either Auburn or Riverheads on Friday at 9 a.m. in the state championship game at Pulaski’s Calfee Park.

Class 2

Lebanon (23-2) vs. Page County (22-3)

At Calfee Park (Pulaski)

Today, 3 p.m.

The Skinny: This game was already intriguing enough. However, when the weather delayed it by more than a week it became even more of a marquee matchup. That’s because both teams will have their ace pitchers at full strength. … Lebanon sophomore left-hander Matthew Buchanan is 11-0 with a 0.44 ERA, has struck out 144 batters in 64 innings and has yielded just 17 hits. His career record is 16-0. … Page County sophomore southpaw T.R. Williams is 8-2 with a 0.63 ERA and has registered 127 strikeouts, while allowing just 24 hits and walking 14 in 66 2/3 innings. He has a career record of 20-2. … Buchanan has verbally committed to the University of Virginia, while Williams has done the same with Virginia Tech. … Williams was the winning pitcher last year as Page County posted a 5-4 victory over Virginia High in the Class 2 championship game. … Williams is also hitting .395 with four home runs and 21 RBIs. Tristan Gordon (.439, 10 homers, 32 RBIs) is a power hitter and Noah Hammer (.439, 31 RBIs) can hammer opposing pitchers too. Caleb Hilliard (2.39 ERA) and Chase Combs (1.30 ERA) join Williams as part of the pitching staff. … Page County coach Wayne Comer compiled a .229 batting average in 316 career big-league games from 1967-1972 with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Senators. He won a World Series ring with Detroit in 1968. … Page County’s three losses have been particularly stunning. Defending Class 1 state champion Riverheads snapped the Panthers’ 43-game winning streak on May 9, eighth-seeded Luray upset Page County in the first round of the Shenandoah District tournament and Stuarts Draft pounded the Panthers in the Region 2B title game. … Lebanon has won seven straight games and the Pioneers have hit the ball consistently hard in the postseason, scoring 71 runs in their last five games. Included in that hot stretch was a 15-1 beatdown of Appomattox in the state quarterfinals. … It’s been a balanced attack for the Pioneers as well with Buchanan, Anthony Houchins, Preston Steele, Hunter Hertig, Cole Stoots and Logan Smith leading the hit parade. Steele is a Virginia Tech commit and could one day be a T.R. Williams teammate with the Hokies. … An 11-1 setback to Tennessee High on March 30 and an 8-7 defeat to Virginia High on May 16 are the only losses for Lebanon. ... Lebanon finished as state runner-up to J.J. Kelly in 1991 and placed second to Virginia High in 2015.

Up Next: Either Stuarts Draft or Chatham awaits the winner at noon in Saturday’s state finals at Calfee Park in Pulaski.

SOFTBALL

Class 1

Northwood (23-1) vs. Rappahannock County (17-7)

At Radford University

Today, 3 p.m.

The Skinny: These two teams share the same nickname, but they don’t have much else in common. … Northwood has six seniors on its roster, while Rappahannock County’s starting lineup consists of four sophomores, three freshmen and two juniors. … Northwood is in the state semifinals for the second straight year. The Panthers dropped a 3-2, eight-inning decision to Auburn in last year’s semis. … B.J. Buchanan is in his 12th season as Northwood’s head coach and has compiled a 176-89 career record. … Northwood has won 22 straight since a loss to Auburn in March and the Panthers haven’t been tested much during the win streak. … Junior pitcher Nancy Jo Roberts is 20-0 with 12 shutouts and a 0.71 ERA, having struck out 186 batters in 129 innings. … Catie Bordwine (.518, two home runs, 28 RBIs), Roberts (.515), Lexie Woodward (.453, 17 RBIs, 16 stolen bases), Lindsey Sword (.446, 28 RBIs) and Casey Litton (.410, 25 RBIs) have the top batting averages for Northwood, which is averaging 8.9 runs and 12.8 hits per game. … Pitcher Abbey McClarey, catcher Mirandah Jenkins, outfielder Olivia Atkins, along with the infield trio of Kammie Brown, Allie Phillips and Taylor Settle, are the tone-setters for Rappahannock County. Jeff Atkins is in his third season as the team’s head coach. … Rappahannock County has lost three times to Class 2 semifinalist Madison County and also faced Warren County, which reached the Class 3 semifinals. … Rappahannock County finished as Region 2B runner-up to Riverheads and knocked off defending state champion Rappahannock, 2-1, in the state quarterfinals. The Panthers from Washington, Virginia (“at the foothills of the great Blue Ridge Mountains,” according to Jeff Atkins) won a Group A state title in 2001.

Up Next: The winner plays either Auburn or Riverheads at noon on Friday in the state finals at Radford University.

Class 2

Lebanon (19-7) vs. Madison County (23-2)

At Radford University

Today, 9 a.m.

The Skinny: The Lebanon Pioneers are in the state semifinals for the fourth straight year. They won a state title in 2016, while losing semifinal games in 2017 (to Madison County) and 2018 (to Richlands). … Madison County is in the state tourney for the sixth time in 10 years under the direction of head coach Jesse Yowell. The Mountaineers won the 2A state championship in 2017. … Six players who started on that 2017 squad are still major contributors for Madison County. … Madison County had to make some adjustments after ace pitcher and East Carolina University signee Logyn Estes suffered an injury in late-April. Emily Seale has taken over the pitching duties and has a 1.20 ERA. … Estes has still been used as a hitter and has a .419 batting average. … Sophie Adams (.423), Cassie Smith (.421), Bailey Smith (.373) and Seale (.353) are other hitters to keep an eye on in Madison County’s lineup. … Class 3 semifinalist Turner Ashby and Class 2 semifinalist Page County are responsible for Madison County’s two losses. … Lebanon hasn’t allowed a run since May 23 as sophomore Adrienne Morrison has pitched consecutive shutouts against Gate City, Union, Richlands and Dan River. … The hitting attack has been balanced. “The thing that impresses me the most about this team is their work ethic,” said Lebanon coach Dennis Price. “They love the game and are very dedicated to the sport. They are very competitive and confident, and are all about the team. The biggest key for us to get this far as a team is making plays, learning from our past experiences, sticking together and believing in each other.”

Up Next: A 9 a.m. appointment on Friday in the state finals at Radford University awaits the winner with Richlands or Page County being the opponent.

Richlands (21-5) vs. Page County (22-5)

At Radford University

Today, Noon

The Skinny: Nearly 270 miles separates these two high schools, but there is plenty of familiarity. … Page County posted a 3-0 victory over Richlands in last year’s Class 2 title game and nearly the entire cast from both sides is back for the sequel. … Sabrina Foltz pitched a shutout against Richlands in last season’s title game and the senior has been superb again this season, taking Region 2B player of the year honors. She spun a three-hit shutout as the Panthers cruised to a 5-0 victory over Madison County in the regional finals. … Sophomore Maddie Gordon, outfielder Brooklynn Fridley, sophomore Tana Merica and freshman Taylor Umberger are the top hitters for Page County. Gordon is a Penn State University commit. … “They have an excellent team,” said Richlands coach Ronnie Davis. “They have an excellent pitcher, good hitters and great defense. We didn’t get timely hits last year and they did. All three runs came with two outs.” … Alan Knight is his 38th season as Page County’s head coach. … This will be a duel between two of the top pitchers in the state as Foltz squares off against Richlands ace Mac Osborne. Osborne is 20-3 with a 1.46 ERA and has struck out 287 batters in 142 innings. She also has a .461 batting average. … Richlands has team batting average of .372 with 15 home runs. Katlynn Baldwin (.467, 19 RBIs), Chloe Newberry (.434), Ginger Short (.419, 22 RBIs), Lauren Earls (.382, six home runs, 22 RBIs) and Ally Staten (.373) lead the way for the Blues. … Three of the losses for Richlands have come to Southwest District rival Lebanon. … Richlands won Group AA state championships in 1995 and 1996. Page County has four state titles, winning it all in 1981, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Up Next: Either Lebanon or Madison County plays the winner on Friday at 9 a.m. in the state championship game at Radford University.

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