Lake Braddock catcher Caroline Jones had to put her struggles at the plate behind her in the bottom of the 13th inning Monday night. One of the Bruins’ best hitters, Jones entered her sixth plate appearance 0 for 4 with one strikeout and a walk.
With runners on first and second and one out, the sophomore smacked an 0-1 riseball to center field to score first baseman Amanda Hendrix from second. The single ended the marathon game and lifted the Bruins to a 2-1 walk-off win over Madison in Monday’s Virginia 6A North region quarterfinal in Burke.
Jones’s only hit of the night proved to be her biggest, as it kept the Bruins’ season alive. Lake Braddock (22-1) will host Langley on Wednesday in a region semifinal.
“It was definitely a battle. [Madison starter] Katie [Vannicola] is a great pitcher, and Madison is an amazing team,” Jones said. “We knew if we slipped once, the door was wide open for them, so we stayed strong as a team and finally pulled through.
Vannicola and Bruins senior pitcher Ashley Flesch dueled for all 13 innings, combining to allow just eight hits in the grueling 3-hour 11-minute game.
Vannicola struck out 17, but Flesch threw 202 pitches for the complete game win, striking out 11 batters with a vicious riseball that gained velocity as the game went along.
Lake Braddock Coach George Rumore repeatedly asked Flesch if she wanted to come out, but she refused.
“I actually think I get stronger as the game goes on because I get to work on my pitches,” an exhausted Flesch said after the game. “I get better as the game goes I think.”
Madison scored the game’s first run in the top of the 10th inning on Jordyn Pistilli’s RBI double, but Lake Braddock quickly answered in the bottom of the frame with a Patty Maye Ohanian run-scoring double to right.
The Warhawks nearly scored again with a runner on third and one out in the top of the 13th, but Bruins center fielder Jenna Edwards caught a fly ball and threw out the Madison runner at the plate after she tagged up.
Hendrix and Flesch both walked before Jones’s winning hit.
“It’s like they just don’t worry about it and they just come and play,” Rumore said. “I’m pretty proud of them.” . . .
Elsewhere in the 6A North, South County beat McLean, 4-1, and will host West Potomac, a 7-1 winner over Fairfax, in Wednesday’s other semifinal. . . .
In the 5A North region quarterfinals, Forest Park defeated Franklin County to earn a semifinal date with Cosby, which topped Woodbridge, 4-1. . . .
Madison Goodman pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead Briar Woods to a 2-0 shutout win over Massaponax in a 5A North region quarterfinal. Stone Bridge earned a 5-3 win against North Stafford and will face Patrick Henry-Ashland, which dispatched Tuscarora 11-1, in Wednesday’s semifinals. . . .
In the 4A North, Woodgrove blanked Liberty, 5-0, to earn a semifinal matchup with Louisa County, a 10-2 winner over Carroll County. Loudoun County fell, 3-0, at Fauquier.