CHARLES TOWN – The Patriots have done it again.
As the No. 1 seed for yet another year, Washington got a bye to start the postseason. Then, after the Cougars downed the Trojans in spectacular fashion, the history making Patriots turned around to break the rust off in a 6-5 walk-off, nail biting win in Game 2. After the all-too-familiar rain postponed Game 3 between the Cougars and Trojans, Maddy Edwards exploded for a big seven-RBI Saturday to knock the Hampshire girls out of the tournament.
Then came another postponed game, giving the Patriots another long break before taking on their rival in Game 4 – the final game of the tournament if they could overcome Jefferson. Which, after starting slow and giving up two runs, the Patriots did.
Matching Jefferson with two runs in the bottom of the first, Jordyn Brown and Karli Snyder took part in a pitching battle to put everyone in anticipation of who would break the ice first.
That finally came in the bottom of the fifth when Washington tacked on five runs to take the lead – something they would hold until the top of the seventh. Sneaky bunter Brittany Cenate would put the Patriots ahead with the go-ahead dink, bringing in Mackenzie Myers after Faith Palmer’s over throw to first base. With two outs, Madi Cenate stepped up for a two-RBI line drive to center field, giving the Patriots room to work on defense.
Jefferson refused to give in, putting up two runs thanks to Edwards and Lacie Lewis.
Yet, as most thrilling games end, Washington stepped back up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth to deliver the dagger – starting with a two-run triple by Taylor Cenate and capped with a walk-off in the park home run by Jordyn Brown.
“I’m proud of them for bringing the heat at the end – it shows they wanted [it],” head coach Amanda Orkoskey said. “I think Jordyn did well – props to Jefferson, they’re a good hitting team. They’re a scrappy team, especially in the postseason. You can’t take their program for granted”
“I’m glad Jordyn and Mackenzie got on the same page – as soon as they did, she was pitching her game and shutting most of them down,” Orkoskey said. “At the plate, on that [home run] when I was waving Jordyn around, her face said, ‘Coach, what are you doing to me?’ But it was a great way to end that game and great momentum going into next week.”
With the Class AAA, Region II, Section 2 plaque in hand, the Patriots are set to advance to face Hedgesville in Game 1 of the regional tournament on Monday.
“I think the big wins kind of hurt us, but I’m glad the kids were able to fight the adversity. I know the postseason is going to be tough, so for them to fight through the struggles means a lot,” Orkoskey said.
Orkoskey’s plan going forward is to get momentum early against the Eagles because they’re a scrappy team and “want it” according to her.
“We know they want it, but we have to show them we want it more,” Orkoskey said.