Five area teams are vying tonight for state semifinal berths and a trip to Radford or Salem this weekend.
Stonewall Jackson boys and girls soccer will host a doubleheader today against Northumberland in the Class 1 state quarterfinals. The boys will play at 5:30 p.m. with the girls following at 7:15. Both Generals’ squads won the Region 1B titles last week.
Warren County softball will host Park View-South Hill at 6 p.m. today in the Class 3 state quarterfinals. Skyline softball plays at New Kent at 5 p.m. today in another Class 3 state quarterfinal.
Warren County baseball will play at Tabb at 5 p.m. today in a Class 3 state quarterfinal.
The Class 1 state semifinals will be played at Radford on Friday and Saturday, while the Class 3 state semifinals will be held in Salem on Friday and Saturday.
It is the second year in a row that Stonewall Jackson is hosting a boys state quarterfinal. Last year the Generals led 2-0 against Rappahannock High School before falling in penalty kicks. Rappahannock went on to the state final.
Stonewall Jackson boys soccer coach Matt Burgwald said he doesn’t know much about Northumberland. He said his team just needs to practice hard and play their best,
“I’m sure they’re going to be a wicked rough team,” Burgwald said. “We just have to prepare the best that we can and hope that we have done enough preparing.”
Northumberland is 10-5-2. They lost to Rappahannock in the Region 1A final last week. However, Northumberland did beat Rappahannock once during the regular season.
It is the first-ever state appearance for Stonewall Jackson’s girls soccer team. The Generals are playing some of their best soccer at the right time.
Stonewall Jackson knocked off Class 2 state quarterfinalist Stuarts Draft in the Shenandoah District final, winning the game in penalty kicks on May 24. They followed that title up with the Region 1B title last week. The Generals outscored their opponents 27-1 in two regional games and have won seven games in a row.
Stonewall Jackson (17-4) will be without sisters Morgan and Casey Gibson this week as they are out of town on a family vacation. Stonewall Jackson girls soccer coach Ginny Dellinger said she likely will move sophomore Katie Jordan to Morgan Gibson’s center-back position, while sophomore Kylene Franklin will move from midfield to Casey Gibson’s forward spot.
“The good news is we have really strong subs in behind them,” Dellinger said. “So I think we’ll probably be OK in that regard. But it just gives us a little less depth.”
Franklin leads the area with 35 goals, while sophomore midfielder Eli Dellinger leads the area with 31 assists. Ginny Dellinger said the pair have been a strength for the team all season.
“I think with Kylene (Franklin) we have a very strong finisher and she and Eli (Dellinger) have a connection that has been there for a long time,” Ginny Dellinger said. “We didn’t see it last year because they were on opposite ends of the field. But to get them back together – it’s a really proven combination for us. So if I can keep that going, I think we’ll have a good shot at making some decent goals.”
Northumberland is 15-3-1 and lost in the Region 1A final last week on penalty kicks to West Point. They have scored 105 goals and allowed 15. Stonewall Jackson has scored 118 goals and allowed 18.
Warren County softball is coming off an impressive 4-2 victory over Skyline last week in the Region 3B final. Warren County’s Alegend Baltimore-Lane had a homer and a double to lead the offense in the victory. Senior pitcher Elizabeth Keener allowed just one hit in six innings for the Wildcats.
Warren County (20-2) has used a strong season from Keener in the circle to go with a balanced hitting attack to produce 20 wins.
Keener has an area-best 1.72 Earned Run Average and has 165 strikeouts in 122.1 innings.
Seniors Morgan Coons and Jayda Saulsbury are each hitting .500 or better for the Wildcats. Coons is batting .506 (39-for-77) with 22 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Saulsbury is hitting .500 (39-for-78) with 26 RBIs and 22 runs scored. Baltimore-Lane has five homers and 20 RBIs and is batting .492 (30-for-61).
Park View-South Hill is 17-5. They won nine games this season by the mercy rule (a 10-run or more lead after five innings).
Skyline will try to rebound after losing the regional final to cross-town rival Warren County.
The Hawks (14-6) are trying to make it back to the Class 3 state semifinals for the second year in a row. They have had a balanced offense this season. They are hitting .377 as a team. Senior catcher Rachel Sirbaugh leads the way, batting .451 (37-for-82) with six homers and 26 RBIs. Junior Taylor Bowers is batting .452 (32-for-77) with 27 RBIs.
Junior Emma Benson has done the bulk of the pitching for the Hawks this season and has a 3.90 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 108.1 innings.
New Kent is 21-2. The Trojans’ only losses came to Warhill and Southampton. New Kent avenged its loss to Warhill later in the season.
The Trojans are led by pitcher Gracie Ellis, who has 208 strikeouts in 140 innings. She has a 19-2 record with 0.85 ERA.
Offensively, the Trojans are batting .355 as a team. Haley Baker is batting a team-best .451 (37-for-82) with 14 RBIs and 24 runs scored. Haley Cleaver is hitting .381 (24-for-63) with four homers and 16 RBIs. The Trojans have five players with at least 15 RBIs.
New Kent beat Park View-South Hill, 8-0, in the Region 3A softball final last week.
If Warren County and Skyline each win two more games, they would meet in the Class 3 state final in Salem on Saturday.
Warren County baseball is coming off a 6-1 loss to district rival Brentsville in the Region 3B final.
The Wildcats (16-6) are led by sophomore Bryce Post, who is batting .429 (24-for-56) with 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Senior Jordan Kenyon has a team-best two homers and 16 RBIs. Senior Dylan Johnson is batting .346 (18-for-52) with 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
On the mound, junior Jackson Arnold has led the way. Arnold has a 2.19 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 51 innings and a 7-2 record. He also has two saves. Senior Joey Sorge has a 3.02 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 41.2 innings and a 5-1 record. Caleb Heflin has a 1.59 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 48.1 innings. He also has four saves.
Tabb is 19-3 and is coming off an 11-1 victory over Park View-South Hill in the Region 3A baseball final.
The Tigers have won eight in a row and have avenged each of their three losses during the regular season.