Loudoun County second baseman Whitney Knudsen knocked a solo home run over the left field fence to give the No. 7 Raiders a 5-4, 10-inning victory over third-ranked Loudoun Valley on Tuesday.
Knudsen, who will play next season at the UNC Wilmington, was 4 for 5 with an RBI and three runs scored.
"She's always does a great job in the field," said Loudoun County first-year coach Richard Pell. "She's so solid at second you start to hope all the girls we face hit it to her. But she's also really now having great at-bats. She's staying back, and she's using the whole field."
Loudoun County's first three runs also came courtesy of a home run -- a three-run shot by first baseman Tara Campbell that sailed over the left-center field fence in the top of the first inning.
Knudsen also scored the Raiders' only other run in the fifth on a single by Amber Kirk up the middle of the infield.
Loudoun Valley (18-2, 12-2) scored two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, registering 13 total hits, but stalled after the fifth inning. It marks the second consecutive loss for the Vikings. Loudoun County (15-3, 11-3) has won seven in a row.
"I think this game means more to Loudoun Valley than it does to us," Pell said. "They know now that we're capable of beating them. We've always thought that, and now we've proven it to them and to the whole county."
Abokhair Picks GWU
Broad Run senior catcher Andrew Abokhair unofficially committed Monday night to play baseball for George Washington. Abokhair, who expects to sign his letter-of-intent within the week, will receive a partial scholarship for both academics and athletics that initially will cover approximately 60 percent of his tuition costs. That amount could increase based on his baseball performance.
"I chose GW because it offered the highest quality of baseball that also gave me the best chance to play early on," Abokhair said. "The coaches said I'll be going in as the number two guy behind a senior, so that will mean I'll get some innings to start off with. And then I can work my way up depending on how I perform."
Abokhair, who plans to study biomedical engineering, has a 4.0 grade-point average and scored a 1,510 on the SAT.
"What this means is that all of his hard work on the field and in the classroom has all paid off," Broad Run Coach Pat Cassidy said. "He's got a chance to study at an outstanding private university and play baseball for a solid Division I program where his parents and his high school coach can go watch him. It's perfect . . . and he's earned every bit of what got."
Falcons Win 11th in Row
Fauquier baseball coach Paul Koch was watching anxiously from just outside the Falcons' home dugout in the top of the seventh inning Friday as his team worked to secure the Northwestern District regular season championship against Sherando.
The Falcons were holding a two-run lead, but the Warriors had runners on first and second when the batter sent a hard shot up the left field line.
Senior third baseman Dan Zyla dove instinctively, stopping the ball only as it banged off his chest. He scrambled to pick up the loose ball and step on third for a force out, helping Fauquier to a 4-3 victory. It was the Falcons' 11th straight win after a 3-5 start.
"At the beginning of the year, we were very inconsistent, especially defensively," said Koch, in his first season. "We've been very steady on the mound all year, which was a bit of a surprise to everyone because we had zero innings of varsity experience. And so the potential was there, always, for us to be a very good team. We just weren't playing mentally tough enough defensively. Now it's like one outstanding play after another.
"We got a couple of wins and started playing with confidence, and the consistency followed. This second stretch of the season has been amazing."
-- ANGELA WATTS