Holding the lead with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning against No. 5 South County, Lake Braddock junior Ashley Flesch took a breath and delivered her pitch.

The ball careened off the hitter’s bat and into the infield before being swallowed up by the Bruins’ defense, preserving what would be a final 7-5 lead on Wedesday night in Lorton.

Lake Braddock (5-0, 2-0 AAA Patriot) fell behind twice before pulling away for good with a three-run fourth inning.

“It was awesome,” Flesh said. “I couldn’t believe it. That shows a lot of character in the team, to never give up and to keep pushing through.”

Flesch struck out seven in five innings of work, notching a hit and scoring a run to help Lake Braddock defeat the defending Virginia AAA Patriot District champions.

The Stallions (5-1, 1-1) scored a run in the first inning, but Lake Braddock came back with two runs in the second.

South County junior outfielder Courtney Ward answered by driving in three runs in the third when she worked a full count, fouled off three pitches and smacked a single with the bases loaded and two outs, giving the Stallions a 4-2 lead.

Lake Braddock regained the winning margin in its next turn at the plate. After a single, an error and a walk loaded the bases, junior Amanda Patterson struck a double to score two runners and tie the game, 4-4.

Later, sophomore Zoey Mansur followed Patterson with an RBI-single to put the Bruins up, 5-4, before padding the lead with two more runs in the following inning.

“We’ve been doing this. We’ve played some good teams already along the way,” Lake Braddock Coach George Rumore said.

Rumore’s squad opened up the season by beating Centreville, 2-1, in a nine inning game. Since that time, the Bruins have defeated their opponents by a44-8 margin.

Lake Braddock was the only team to defeat South County in district play last season. The team relied on clutch pitching by sophomore Amanda Hendrix, one of five players who started as a freshman for the team in 2012, to seal the win on Wednesday.

Hendrix took over for Flesch in the sixth inning and walked two Stallions to put the winning run at the plate. But she settled down and fanned the batter, then notched two strikeouts to finish the roller-coaster contest in the final inning.

“We had so much backup,” she said. “We’re all coming together.”

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