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Thursday

April 8, 2010

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Collegiate softball pushes past Clover Hill 3-0 BY JP BEAUCHAMP sports@goochlandgazette.com

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laying at Collegiate’s western campus the Cougars’ softball team picked up yet another win with a 3-0 victory over rival Clover Hill last week. Collgeiate’s sixth straight win came in large part due to a tight defense that proved impenetrable by the Cavaliers. Be that as it may, both teams turned in solid, squarely matched performances. With two out in the third, Collegiate catcher Emily Zell hit a line drive into left field for a base hit. Zell then came home on a triple into right field by first baseman Mallory Knighton for a 1-0 Cougar lead. “The right fielder was in the sun a little bit,” Collegiate head coach Mark Coates said of Clover Hill’s defensive lapse. “That sun directly in your eyes, early in the season like this, the girls have a hard time handling that. She may or may not have caught it anyway, but the bottom line is that the sun definitely played a factor. It really didn’t give her much of a chance. She took that first step back and you could see she was in trouble.” Collegiate’s lead was solidified in the sixth on the tail of Cavs’ pitcher Sam Page walking Knighton. The Cougars Brittany McCauley hit a line drive past short to get on base and pitcher Caroline Deimer slammed one past third for a double, sending Knighton home. McCauley then came in for the Cougars’ third and final run on a ground out by outfielder Caroline Cheatham. Deimer kept the Cavs from scoring with a solid performance on the mound, recording nine strike outs while only giving up five hits. Deimer felt that her team came together to deliver the win. “Our hitters and defense--we were all solid. There were great plays at third

base.” Coates was pleased with Deimer’s performance. “What made the difference for us today is that our pitcher throws strikes,” he said. “She keeps us in the game. She mixes it up nicely.” Likewise junior Emily Flippo turned in some solid D at third for Collegiate, catching balls hit foul, making double-plays and shutting down scoring opportunities for the Cavs time after time to delight Coates. “She doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience playing softball,” Coates said. “She did a great job at third, had a lot of plays. Taking it in the big context that she doesn’t play travel ball, doesn’t play any other ball other than right here and she just keeps getting better and better, like today making a solid play on a well-hit ball. Those are the kind of plays that change the game, cause if she misses it with a runner on. The next thing you know, you’ve got a merry-go-round. And in this level of softball, one missed out sometimes lets the floodgates open.” For Coates, the Cougars have gotten off to a solid start by getting production around the field. “I think we have a solid pitcher-catcher,” he said. “We have a solid infield. Basically we don’t make a tremendous amount of mistakes; but more importantly when we had men on base, we put the ball in play. This gives the other team an opportunity to make a play. In girls’ softball you always have a chance to score a run when you put the ball in play.” Yet as good as Collegiate has been early in the season, Coates is not sure how well they would match up against the region’s best. “We’re a solid team, but the upper-level teams (The Mills Godwins, the Lee-Davis’s and all) we would struggle with,” he said. “We play Thomas Dale

(this) week, so we’ll see, but we’ll struggle a little bit; but the bottom line is that we have a good team that can compete. We’re competitors.” Confident in his team as competitors, Coates realizes also that his girls need to be on point for a successful season. “Half of our girls have played before; half of them have not,” he said. “Our expectation basically is game to game. We have to battle the teams in our league for every game because we’re on even par with them. When we play people outside of our league, we’re basically on par with them, like today. We could have lost very easily. We’re a borderline team. We’re not a team that is overwhelmPhoto by Jim Ridolphi ing anybody. We’re a team that has to have a good day. We Collegiate second baseman Carolyn Pittman scoops up a grounder and throws to first for an out.The Cougars rolled out to a surprising 6-0 start this season. have to play clean softball.”

Collegiate lacrosse fields teams to beat BY ARTHUR UTLEY Media General News Services

Starting the season with three losses may not be the optimum way to become better, but that path led to a big-time victory for the Collegiate boys lacrosse team. The Cougars, playing on their home turf, defeated Georgetown Prep 10-6 on Friday. Depending on what national poll you look at, Georgetown Prep was ranked No.1, No.4 or No.10. “It’s the highest-rated team Collegiate has beaten,” coach Andrew Stanley said. “It was a big team day. Everybody did their part and more.” Coming into the game, Georgetown Prep and Collegiate had a common opponent: Gilman School of Baltimore. Georgetown Prep beat Gilman 6-1. Collegiate lost to Gilman in the second game of the season. The Cougars lost to St. Mary’s (Md.) in their opener

and followed the Gilman loss with one to Severn (Md.). Collegiate’s schedule is one of the toughest in the country, but Stanley has done it that way for a reason. “To win our state tournament, you almost have to be a national power,” Stanley said. “You have to go against national [caliber] competition.” Stanley knew the Cougars could compete, but he wanted them to be more experienced and more comfortable competing on the highest level. The Cougars were thumped by St. Mary’s but made noticeable strides against Gillman and Severn. The first victory against Cape Henry was the result of better execution. “It was one of the cleanest, most polished games a Collegiate team has played,” Stanley said. “They played real lacrosse and played it the right way.” The Cougars followed the game plan against Georgetown

Prep and received outstanding offensive performances from captains Russell Harper (five goals) and Alex Newsome (four), and “the defense, as a unit, played out of their heads,” Stanley said. Keeper David Noftsinger logged 19 saves. His most spectacular play was stoning a twoon-goal break at the end of the first half. Boys private school lacrosse in Virginia is loaded with good teams this season: St. Anne’s Belfield, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, Norfolk Academy, Woodberry Forest, Episcopal, Collegiate, St. Christopher’s. “There is so much parity, everybody has to show up every day, and that makes it really fun,” Stanley said. Players to watch: Dyson White, Harper and Newsome, Collegiate; Blair Farinholt and Hunter Johnson, St. Christopher’s. The Collegiate girls are the team to beat again. The Cougars

rarely lose to local competition. They lost in the state tournament semifinals last year and have seven starters, led by high-scoring Katie Mastropieri (attack) and stingy goal keeper Taylor Thomas, returning. Many of the Cougars’ players were on the state championship field hockey team in the fall. St. Catherine’s has strong senior leadership and goal-scorers in Emily Hardy and Ralsie Brooke, but the Saints will miss Alexa Alexander (31 goals, 14 assists last year), who is out with a knee injury. First-year Steward coach Susannah Taylor has seven returning starters. Players to watch among the public schools are: Ann Martin, James River; Kelly Reagan and Ashley Swan, Midlothian; Tricia Watkins and Melissa Gerndt, Mills Godwin; Rachel Quinn and Audrey Hester, Deep Run. Arthur Utley is a staff writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch.

04/08/2010  

The Goochland Gazette – 04/08/2010 © 2010 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may n...

04/08/2010  

The Goochland Gazette – 04/08/2010 © 2010 by Richmond Suburban Newspapers. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may n...

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