By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- It took two nights to complete the game, but Skyline couldn't pull out the win against defending Group AA state champion Briar Woods on Wednesday night in an 11-1 loss.
"After what happened last night with going on the field, and then off and on and off again this happens sometimes," Nelson said. "When that happens one team comes out ready and the other team comes out a little flat. I think we were a little flat taking the field today."
The Hawks began hosting the regional matchup on Tuesday, but inclement weather caused the game to be suspended until the following day. The break didn't seem to alter the Falcons approach to the game as they exploded in the fourth inning for seven runs to ultimately decide the game.
The game picked up in the bottom of the second inning and after Falcons pitcher Macy Jones, took care of the Hawks handily, Briar Woods scored the first run of the game in the top of the third. Jones, who has committed to Penn State University, started the inning with a leadoff double and later scored on an RBI single by Jordan Counts to left field.
Although she was able to escape further damage in the inning, Hawks pitcher Sara Beamer wasn't as successful the next time around. After the leadoff hitter reached base on an error by Taylor Henry, Beamer walked the next two batters she faced to load the bases.
Skyline then intentionally walked Jones giving up a run in hopes that they could manage their way through the rest of the Falcons lineup. Another error by second baseman Carrie Robinson, on a groundball, allowed another runner to score in the next at-bat and keep the Falcons rally going.
In the next at-bat, Casey Forbes ripped a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-0. After Lynn Brantley knocked an RBI single, Carrie Keevey followed with a single to right field scoring one run and a fielding error in right field by the Hawks allowed Brantley to score to complete a seven-run inning for the Falcons.
"The walk may or may not have been a good call by me, but that wasn't the difference in the game," Nelson said. "We had some fundamental breakdowns that let them get some baserunners and score runs and eventually you start playing catch up. Against a team like this, you can't play catch up because you end up reaching, but you never can get there."
With run support at her back, Jones appeared determined to not look back. The Falcons ace struck out 15 on the night, including eight consecutive at one point during the win.
"When you can't get on base, it takes away some of the things you want to do," Nelson said. "You don't get opportunities to take advantage and do the little things to manufacture runs and we didn't get those chances tonight."
The Falcons added three runs in the final inning for insurance, before Skyline scored their lone run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Robinson in the bottom of the inning. The run was too little, too late for the Hawks as they watched their season come to a close.
"I think we ended up having a pretty good season," Nelson said. "We had our high spots during the year, and we are expecting to be back in the hunt again next year with a good group of JV kids moving up to combine with some of the young girls who got experience playing this year."