By Jeff Nations
STRASBURG -- It's been feast or famine for Strasburg's softball team lately, and on Friday night Manassas Park provided the a proverbial smorgasbord of scoring opportunities.
Hittable pitching and a porous Cougars defense helped Strasburg enjoy the other side of a lopsided score after suffering back-to-back drubbings in Bull Run District play, as the Rams rolled to an 18-2 victory that took just five innings.
Strasburg (6-8, 4-4 Bull Run) did the majority of its damage in a 12-run second inning, combining six hits with eight Cougars errors to extend the rally. Carey Scott and Kasey Fauber each had two-run triples in the outburst as the Rams sent 16 batters to the plate against Manassas Park starting pitcher Katelyn Mullins.
"It feels pretty good," Fauber said. "Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next week."
Fauber had a big day for the Rams, delivering two triples as part of a 3-for-4 night. Strasburg finished with 11 hits in all, four of them triples.
The Rams got off to a modest start, plating one run in the bottom of the first on Nikki Killen's triple.
But in the second, Manassas Park (3-10, 2-9 Bull Run) simply came unglued in the field as the Rams put the game away.
The Cougars did notch single runs in the third and fourth innings. Samyra Barbour led off the third with a double against Rams starter Tori Conner and eventually scored on an error. In the fourth, Manassas Park's Tiffany Fronda reached on an error and later scored on another. The Rams had three errors in all, but for the most part made the plays. Manassas Park finished with 13 errors.
"Tonight I thought that we played well," Rams coach Suzanne Mathias said. "I thought we played decent defense tonight. It's hard to stay up in that type of game, but I thought they did and they hit the ball. I want them to build up their confidence a little bit and that's a good confidence-builder game."
Strasburg did it without standout Ashtyn Foddrell, who sat out the game to stay within the 20-game limit.
"That was my fault because she had actually pitched a JV game this year, and she's only allowed to play 20," Mathias said. "So I had to sit her one, so she can finish out with us."
Scott finished with two hits and four RBIs, and Emily Melnikoff had two hits and three RBIs to join Fauber as offensive standouts.
"I'd say we've been swinging the bats pretty well," Fauber said. "Today really helped, obviously."
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>