DUMFRIES, VA., MAY 30 -- Oakton pitcher Lorri Williams regained her control and Potomac catcher Jennifer Roy lost hers today as the Cougars defeated the Panthers, 3-2, in a Virginia state Class AAA quarterfinal game at Potomac High School.
Oakton (19-5) advanced to Friday's semifinals in Richmond against Lee-Davis. Potomac finished its season 16-4-1.
In the fourth inning, with the score 2-2 and runners on first and third, Oakton's Mary Ann Smith broke for second base. She got a poor jump and Roy, who had not committed an error all season, hesitated before throwing.
The ball sailed into center field for an error and Kelly Faria trotted home, scoring what proved to be the winning run.
"I was nervous," Roy said. "I was looking at third and had mixed emotions about throwing to second. I shouldn't have made the throw."
Williams, who had struggled in her last two outings, struck out nine, eight after the second inning.
"I concentrated more today," said Williams, who had pitched 13 consecutive games without a walk before two multi-walk games in the regional tournament. "I just told myself, 'No more walks.' "
But hits are what got her into trouble today. In the first inning she gave up three straight singles as Potomac loaded the bases with none out. Williams then did issue a walk, to Roy, forcing in a run. After Williams got Amie LeBrun to pop out to first and struck out Maura Barrett, Kristy Blair singled to make it 2-0.
But with the bases still loaded, Alleen Callahan grounded out to first and Williams, who allowed just one hit and two walks the rest of the game, escaped.
Oakton started quickly as well, tying the game in the first off Sheri Costa.
After Heidi Jenkins grounded out, Kirsten Reller was hit in the head with a pitch. Reller then stole second and Kirsten Reynolds followed with a sharp single to left.
Reller scored on a squeeze bunt by Faria and Smith drove home Reynolds with a two-out single.
But Costa pitched as well as Williams the rest of the game, allowing three hits and no walks.
In the fifth, it looked as if the Panthers might take the lead when Roy again reached on a walk and took third on first baseman Diane Raisovich's error. But a controversial call on the next play ended the inning.
With runners on second and third, Blair grounded to shortstop and appeared to reach first before Raisovich gained control of Reynolds's throw. But the first-base umpire called her out and the inning ended with the score still 3-2.
The Panthers, who left eight runners stranded, never got another base runner as Williams retired the final six batters, two on strikeouts.
"In the beginning and the end, I'm the worst," Williams said. "In the seventh inning, I was just thinking about keeping the ball low."