SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – After rain postponed Friday night’s game to Saturday morning, a huge returning first inning for the Cougars would be the only runs they needed to down Hampshire in their elimination game.
Holding Hampshire to just two runs through the game, Jefferson put up 13 in the first inning, five in the second and their final four in the third to cap their monster win 20-up on the Trojans.
River Boward would be the only Trojan to put runs on the board with a two-run single with one out in the first. Jefferson’s first run would come off of a walk, but Rachel Cunningham began cracking the bats with a single to drive in Ashtin Hoover. Maddy Edwards ended the driving score with a two-run double, her first two RBI of the game.
Four of the Cougars’ five runs in the second came with a grand slam by Edwards, putting Jefferson 15 runs up on Hampshire. Faith Klein ended the scoring with a single, putting in Lacie Lewis.
Cunningham started the third inning scoring drive with a double to center field, and Edwards picked up her seventh RBI of the game with a shot to the same hole. Three at bats later, Klein singled to cap the score at 22 with a shot to right field.
After the third inning, Hoover was replaced on the mound to rest her arm and give Riley Tucker varsity experience in the circle. Hoover accounted for four of the duo’s seven strikeouts, and gave up three walks and two earned runs. Tucker gave up no hits and three walks.
MacKenzie Corbin took the loss for Hampshire, giving up 22 earned runs and six walks while striking out just one.
Edwards’ seven RBI performance came off of a perfect time at the plate (3-3). Cunningham backed her up with a 4-for-5 time on the plate, accounting for four RBI. Lewis (4-4, 3 RBI), Karli Snyder (1-2, 2 RBI), and Klein (2-2, 2 RBI) combined for seven RBI. Five Cougars had doubles, while Edwards was the only batter to out-do that.
Jefferson will take their momentum into a 2 p.m. game today against Washington. They gave the Patriots a run for their money in their first sectional tournament meeting, but the Patriots rallied for a 6-5 win in the eighth inning.
Last year, the Cougars fell to Washington in two games albeit by slim margins (Game 1, 6-4; Game 2, 6-5). The Patriots, on the other hand, have lost just one postseason game in the last three years. By numbers alone, the second rivalry meeting should make for a good game.