Lady Generals derail Lady Spartans in state semis

George Thwaites • Jun 13, 2014 at 8:29 PM

RADFORD — The inability to score kept Eastside's softball team out of last year's Group A, Division 1 state championship game.

Friday at Radford University's softball complex, that wasn't so much the Lady Spartans' problem.

William Campbell scored eight runs off six hits and three errors in the sixth inning on its way to a 12-5 victory over Eastside in the VHSL 1A semifinals.

Thanks to leadoff home runs by Lindsay Dean and Erin Stanley in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, the Lady Spartans trailed only 4-2 before the game got away from them in the bottom of the sixth.

That train wreck of a frame might never have gone completely off the rails, Eastside coach Suzi Atwood said, if a double play the Lady Spartans believed they had successfully turned hadn't been overruled by the plate umpire. The ump invalidated second baseman Keely Atwood's unassisted tag between first and second prior to making the finishing putout throw to first.

"If he sticks with that double play, we're out of that inning," said Coach Atwood, the Eastside second baseman's mom. "(The umpire) who overruled them said she didn't have the ball in her glove when she tagged. They built momentum on that double play. Once they overruled it, we couldn't settle down."

Leadoff hitter Keri Hamlett had two hits and scored three runs for William Campbell (19-5). Briana Rexrode and Kirstin Smith had two hits apiece. Kelsie Slight had an RBI double.

"Hitting is contagious. Once one or two did it, everybody seemed to understand, 'Hey, I can do it, too,'" said Lady Generals coach Chris Smith, whose team will face Rappahannock in Saturday's 10 a.m. championship game.

The Lady Spartans (20-4) did not go quietly, rattling Lady Gens pitcher Gina Lawhorn (19-5) with three runs off three hits before third baseman Kelci Hendricks finally put a glove on Keely Atwood's liner for the third out.

"They got some timely hits that we didn't get. That's just the way it goes sometimes," Coach Atwood said. "But we never did give up. You can't say enough about that."

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