Heartbreak as Lady Trojans season ends in extra innings loss to Skyline
Sometimes the toughest lessons are learned through defeat. For the New Kent Lady Trojans, it came earlier than expected during the June 4 state quarterfinal contest against the visiting Lady Hawks of Skyline High School.
The visitors pushed two runs across the plate during the top frame of extra innings as Skyline escaped with a 4-2 victory over the homestanding Lady Trojans, ending their season.
Skyline was able to come out to do something that most teams have failed to force New Kent to do throughout the year, which was commit mental mistakes. In the bottom of the first inning and with runners in scoring position, a line drive by K.B. Snyder was snagged and quickly turned into a double play to help the visitors emerged unharmed in the first inning.
New Kent hurler Gracie Ellis continued to excel on the mound, but it would be back-to-back doubles by Skyline’s Grace Benson and Olivia Heflin to push across the first run on the board.
The hosts finally found a bit of offense in the bottom of the fifth ending. Taylor Yates base knock drove in Hayley Hyndshaw to tie the game up at one apiece.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Trojans had an ample opportunity for a walk-off win. McKenna Mueller’s contact seemed to be the break for the hosts, but the Lady Hawks were able to stop the threat and force extra innings.
During the extra frame, errors factored into what turned into a quick descent of New Kent’s defense. An errant throw to first base by Taylor Yates eventually led to an unearned run crossing home plate for Skyline. Two more runs were tacked on as Skyline took a 4-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the eighth.
New Kent remained valiant, as the Lady Trojans scored a run off Skyline pitcher Emma Benson. However, a blast by Jazmyn Burrell to left field ended up in the glove of a Lady Hawk outfielder to end the game and the season for the Lady Trojans.
Lady Trojan head coach Maria Bates spoke about the competitive game and how Skyline thwarted the chances for the hosts to score.
“We had opportunities and we got on base and put the ball in play,” she said. “However, they had a great defense and shut us down.
“We kept plugging along and we tied the game up,” Bates continued. “We had momentum and we were one inch away from winning the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. But their shortstop made one of the best catches I have seen all year when we had runners on second and third.
“The team played their hearts out today and they never gave up. Things just didn’t go our way this time around,” Bates concluded.