Wildcats rap Rams on senior day

FRONT ROYAL – All season long, Warren County softball coach Justin Stock has been preaching consistency to his Wildcats.

Tuesday, he got it as Warren knocked off Conference 35/Bull Run District foe Strasburg 8-5. It was the home team’s second straight victory over the Rams this season.

Warren County improved to 7-6 in the Bull Run and 10-9 overall with a Monday game against another conference/district opponent, Clarke County.

Strasburg dropped to 2-9 in the district, 6-13 overall. It has a game scheduled with Rappahannock County today.

All of the five members of Conference 35 advance to the tournament, so each team is guaranteed at least one postseason encounter. This, however, was senior day for the ‘Cats, as veterans Emma Wright and Kayla Yatsko played before family and friends.

“We’ve been getting some hits here and there but it’s been a while since we could string them together like this evening,” said Stock. “This is as well as we’ve hit the ball in some time.”

Warren County produced eight hits. Wright went 2-for-3 as she tied an all-time games-played record for the school.

“Her next game, she’ll set the record. That’s because she’s a four-year starter and also because she’s played every position on the field. She started as a freshman and she has moved around,” Stock said.

Wright scored two runs.

Starting and winning pitcher Elizabeth Keener did the job from the circle and the batter’s box for the Wildcats.

Keener, a freshman, allowed three hits and struck out four. She started the game and then came out briefly as Stock decided to give her a rest. She then returned to the circle on the “re-entry” rule, since she played another position on the field after her first assignment as pitcher.

“I wouldn’t say this was my best game pitching, but it was different because I started and then came in later in relief,” she said.

Keener was 2-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and one batted in.

Other Wildcats who hit well were Arianna Smoot, who collected three runs batted in, and Jayda Saulsberry, who poled a double to left in the first inning.

With Keener cuffing the Rams early, her teammates’ bats went to work.

Warren County dropped three runs on Strasburg in the first inning, three in the third and two in the fourth.

The Wildcats were moving along smoothly with an 8-0 lead when Strasburg came to bat in the sixth.

The Rams slammed four hits for their four runs. Scott, Madi Foltz, Emily Smoot and Kassy Bly all hit safely in the inning.