For as daunting a challenge as South County pitcher Rebecca Martin presented for Lake Braddock’s hitters Monday night, the Bruins knew better than simply to be satisfied with the notion of making contact and reaching base against the Stallions’ ace.
The Bruins had done as much in their first matchup April 24, only to leave 16 runners on base in a 13-inning loss. And through Monday’s first two innings, Martin and the second-ranked Stallions appeared to be stifling Lake Braddock again as the Bruins stranded four runners.
But a Jenna Edwards single in the third frame broke the stalemate, scoring two runs to spark No. 3 Lake Braddock in a 4-0 victory against their Virginia Conference 7 rivals in Burke that avenged its lone defeat of the season.
Ashley Flesch led Lake Braddock with 13 strikeouts, while Amanda Hendrix went 3 for 3 at the plate and scored twice. Martin finished with eight strikeouts for South County (15-2, 8-1 in Conference 7).
“We didn’t have those timely hits that we needed to score in the last game,” Flesch said. “So we wanted to make solid contact and make our hits count tonight because we know how tough Becca and South County are.”
Hendrix ignited the Bruins (17-1, 9-1 ) by leading off with a single after beating out the throw in the bottom of the third inning. Following a Flesch walk, Edwards nailed a hit down the right field line to bring home Hendrix and pinch-runner Siobhan Beaudoin .
Two innings later, after Hendrix again beat out a throw to reach first base, Caroline Jones belted a two-run homer over the left field fence to extend the lead to the final margin.
“South County is a high-powered offense, and we knew they would make adjustments, so we had to be ready,” Jones said. “We were motivated, and with Ashley hitting her spots, that helped our offense have opportunities to make plays.”
Lake Braddock’s defense also came up with its share of plays. Following a 15-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth, the middle of the Stallions’ order came up to bat in hopes of mustering a rally. But two South County balls belted into the outfield were snagged by the Bruins, including a leaping grab by Danielle Newman in left field.
“Almost every time they came up to bat, I was going through my head trying to figure out how to best defend and prepare for their hitters,” Hendrix said. “It feels good to end our regular season matchups against them with a win at home.”