Edison 4, Falls Church 0

Because of a few broken bones and a busted lineup, the season did not get off to a promising start for the Edison softball team.

The Eagles continued their late-season recovery last night with a 4-0 victory over host Falls Church in the Virginia AAA National District final.

Edison (14-7), which will host Lee in the first round of the Northern Region tournament on Friday night, entered the district tournament as the No. 4 seed but won behind its veteran battery of senior catcher Mary Dolan and junior Autumn Strawderman, in her second year as a starter.

The Eagles defeated top seed Mount Vernon, 1-0, in the semifinals last week after losing twice to the Majors during the regular season. Last night, Edison held the third-seeded Jaguars to five hits to gain its third consecutive tournament title.

"We just had such a rough start," said Strawderman, "especially for some of the experienced players who were used to Edison being a strong team. We had to realize that things weren't the same as usual. But once we beat Mount Vernon, we became very confident."

Dolan said that the win gave the team a feeling of "invincibility."

That was hard to imagine this past offseason when Edison starting shortstop Mary Wilson suffered two broken legs and a broken arm in a car accident. (Wilson returned late in the year and now plays left field.) That left Eagles Coach John Dooley with an entirely new infield.

The Eagles also had to replace three seniors from last year's team, two of whom were all-region selections. But sophomore Sarah Brown, who had never played softball, took over at shortstop and earned all-district honors.

Last night, Strawderman struck out six, including two in the bottom of the seventh. Only twice in the game did the Jaguars (11-7) get a runner to third base.

Edison scored in the fourth inning when Meg Sandstrom led off with a double, moved to third and then scored on a pair of groundouts.

The Eagles took advantage of two errors to score again in the fifth and doubled their advantage in the sixth, using run-scoring hits by Jaqi Riggles and Wilson.

Falls Church, playing in the district final for the first time, will continue its breakthrough season at Madison on Friday in a region first-round game.

"This is the best group of seniors we've ever had come through here," Coach Colleen Lally said. "It would have been nice to get ourselves a [championship] banner."