correction: Clare Fortier’s first name was misspelled in a previous version of this article, which also incorrectly stated that National Cathedral ended its season on a nine-game winning streak.
Jamie Wang ambled off the mound and plopped down on the metal bench, panting for air as one teammate placed a cold, wet rag across her head. Another teammate rushed over with a large water bottle, prompting the starting pitcher to hydrate.
Moments removed from striking out the Georgetown Visitation side in the top of the fourth inning Sunday afternoon, National Cathedral’s Wang appeared to be zapped from the summerlike heat. Then Logan Robinson, the team’s top pitcher, who was sidelined with an injury, attended to her struggling teammate.
“Hey, eat these,” Robinson told Wang, handing her a bag of chips. “We need you. Keep it up.”
Wang threw some chips in her mouth, and soon all weariness left the junior’s face. In her following at-bat, Wang clobbered a three-run homer onto 34th Street, and National Cathedral was well on its way to a 9-1 victory and its third straight D.C. State Athletic Association softball title.
Wang finished with a complete game on the hill and that key fourth-inning home run to power the Eagles on their home field in Northwest Washington.
“Those chips definitely helped,” said Wang, who was awarded the game’s MVP award. “I was feeling a little lightheaded. Mentally, I was fine. I just needed to battle through it.”
The Eagles (12-3) called on Wang when Robinson, a senior, went down with an undisclosed injury in practice last week. Robinson started nearly every game this season, but Wang delivered, allowing just two hits against the Cubs. The only run she allowed stemmed from a throwing error. She struck out six and walked one.
“She’s our No. 2, but she came in throwing like a No. 1,” National Cathedral Coach Tracie Shaw said. “She dug really deep and let her defense do the work.”
Wang also got the National Cathedral scoring started, hammering a double to straightaway center in the second inning and later coming around to score. Clare Fortier and Priya Phillips had RBI in the inning to put the Eagles ahead 2-0.
Georgetown Visitation’s only run came in the third. Wang hit Georgetown Visitation’s Lucy Cook to lead off the inning, and Cook eventually scored on an errant throw. The Eagles held on to their 2-1 lead until their monstrous fourth inning, when Wang’s three-run shot keyed a seven-run barrage.
“Her swing is like pure beauty,” Shaw said. “Just to see her get that, I was like, ‘There’s the girl. There she is. She’s in it.’ ”
National Cathedral set up the huge inning with three bunt singles, taking advantage of a turf field that made it tougher for fielders to handle groundballs.
Each soft dribbler down the third base line helped the Eagles’ cause, and Wang’s resounding blast helped National Cathedral stake its claim as a Washington-area stalwart.
“I don’t think a lot of people really appreciate our softball team,” Wang said. “I mean, we play on a soccer field. But I think now people really understand that we are good and that we are a threat.”