Loudoun Valley 4,
Turner Ashby 0
Loudoun Valley junior catcher Malorie Weller wasn't exactly planning to dance Saturday night in the Vikings' dark green, sleeveless softball uniform. But with her long, red gown hanging in her bedroom closet more than two hours away and her date -- Loudoun County senior Vedad Salkic -- missing his prom to sit behind home plate in jeans instead of a tuxedo, she happily improvised.
"I'll dance anywhere tonight," Weller said, laughing.
No. 3 Loudoun Valley shocked host Turner Ashby, 4-0, Saturday afternoon in the Virginia AA Region II championship game that was pushed back a day because of rain. The loss snapped a 45-game winning streak by the defending AA champion and stunned the home crowd that filled the bleachers and lined the field's perimeter with lawn chairs and vehicles.
"When I woke up this morning I knew this was the game I had been thinking about for a year," said All-Met senior second baseman Jessica Everhart, who gave Loudoun Valley a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a hard-hit double to left field that scored her twin sister, All-Met shortstop Jennifer Everhart. "It means a lot for us to be the team to break their streak. But we're not even close to being done yet."
Loudoun Valley (24-1), the 2003 state champion, will host the loser of yesterday's Region I final between Grafton and Poquoson at 4 p.m. Tuesday in a Virginia AA quarterfinal. Turner Ashby (25-1) will travel to face the Region I champion with hopes of earning another rematch with the Vikings in the semifinal round.
Turner Ashby beat Loudoun Valley, 1-0 in 10 innings, in last year's state semifinals.
"Well, this isn't the way we wanted it to go for sure, but it's definitely been a great run," said Knights Coach Craig Miller, whose team returned every starter from last year's state championship squad. "Today they just simply outplayed us."
With her team still holding that 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning, Weller got the Vikings started with a two-out double to deep center field. Jennifer Everhart walked to put runners on first and second, and then back-to-back hits by senior outfielder Alyson Moler and senior third baseman Kori Bonner scored three runs and gave Loudoun Valley a more comfortable 4-0 advantage.
The Knights countered, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with only one out, but Jessica Everhart chased down a fly ball well outside of the first base line for the second out of the inning and junior pitcher Cassie McGaha (five hits, six strikeouts, no walks) got Knights standout catcher Misty Hall on a comebacker to end the game.
"One thing's for sure," Weller said, "it stinks that my dress and my jewelry and shoes are all still in my closet. But this was definitely worth it."