A June 7 Sports article incorrectly said that Madison High School softball pitcher Lauren Frankiewicz had thrown eight shutouts this season. She has thrown eight no-hitters. (Published 6/8/04)
Madison 2, Oakton 0
After she was handed the tournament most valuable player trophy for leading Madison to its second consecutive Virginia AAA Northern Region softball championship with a no-hitter in a 2-0 title game win over Oakton yesterday, Warhawks pitcher Lauren Frankiewicz could hardly stop praising her infield.
Madison's infielders didn't do much that showed up in the scorebook -- Frankiewicz struck out 61 batters in four straight shutouts -- but they were the ones who had calmed and motivated the junior over the past 10 days, she said.
"Every time I feel like I'm struggling with something and need a boost," Frankiewicz said, "I turn around to my infielders and they give me the confidence that I need to get through things."
In yesterday's rain-delayed regional championship game at Falls Church, Frankiewicz notched her eighth shutout of the year, striking out 16. No Oakton batter got the ball out of the infield. It was her best outing of the tournament, during which she yielded six hits in 28 innings.
Some of the struggles that the Madison infielders -- first baseman Kim McCarthy, second baseman Dari Gore, shortstop Jenny Matthews and third baseman Ashli Breau -- helped Frankiewicz through were four calls for making illegal pitches. Frankiewicz had been called for it earlier in the tournament, too, as umpires ruled that she moved too far laterally from the pitching rubber before delivering a pitch.
The Warhawks (23-4) will next host Northwestern Region runner-up Osbourn on Tuesday in a Group AAA state quarterfinal game. Oakton (20-6) will travel to Stonewall Jackson for another quarterfinal.
Osbourn rallied to score two late runs to beat Madison, 3-2, in a spring break game this year.
Yesterday, it was the Warhawks who scored late to beat the Cougars in the regional final for the second consecutive season.
Frankiewicz was hit by a pitch to open the seventh inning. One out later, Heather Jones drew a walk. Next, Matthews hit a slow grounder to the second baseman, whose throw to first base deflected off the first baseman's glove, allowing Carly Hetmanek (a courtesy runner for Frankiewicz) to score. Amanda Shanklin followed with a sacrifice bunt toward first base, which was placed well enough to get Jones home from third.
Oakton sophomore pitcher Jesse McCarrick threw a one-hitter, yielding two unearned runs. Frankiewicz, meantime, struck out the side in three of the first four innings.
"With the kind of pitchers' duel we were expecting today," Oakton Coach Chris Jarboe said, "I knew this region title would be for some team to lose on an error. I knew the first mistake would cost a team, and it did. It was just a shame to see it end that way."