Stonewall Jackson 2
Osbourn senior Stephanie Gaynord knew there was no use trying to pull the ball against a power pitcher like Stonewall Jackson's Courtney Bures, who had been rifling fastballs past the Eagles since she entered the game in the fifth inning.
So in the bottom of the ninth -- with two outs -- Gaynord decided opposite field was her best chance. She laced a sharp RBI single past the outstretched glove of Stonewall second baseman Katie Speaks to lift the eighth-ranked Eagles to a 3-2 home victory over No. 1 Stonewall Jackson yesterday in a key Virginia AAA Cedar Run District game between two of the state's best teams.
Osbourn second baseman Alyssa Kemmerer started the ninth with a hard single past the Stonewall first baseman and was sacrificed to second on a perfect bunt by Kristin Catino. After Lydia Sumner's groundout moved Kemmerer to third, Katie Lee walked to set the stage for Gaynord.
"It was a fastball," said the Eagles' shortstop. "I was trying to go opposite field and hope it would go through. I knew if I pulled [the ball] it would just go to the shortstop."
Stonewall and Osbourn met for the first time since last spring when, in a span of eight days, Osbourn defeated Stonewall in both the district and Northwestern Region championship games. Stonewall (6-2, 0-2) opened this season 5-0 but suffered its second loss in the past four days. On Tuesday, the Raiders were no-hit by Osbourn Park and lost, 1-0. Osbourn remained undefeated, improving to 4-0, 2-0.
Osbourn sophomore pitcher Christi Ecks baffled the Raiders through the five innings, striking out seven and yielding one single. Meantime, Osbourn took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the fourth and increased its advantage to 2-0 in the fifth on Gaynord's infield single that scored Sumner, who reached base on a Stonewall throwing error.
The Raiders rallied in the sixth when Bures smashed Ecks's first pitch over the left-center field fence 220 feet away. It was her second home run this season and cut Osbourn's lead to 2-1.
Down to its final three outs one inning later, Stonewall tied the score on singles by Speaks and Bethany McLean and an RBI single by Sarah Hefter.