By Randy Arrington
SHENANDOAH, May 12 — Page County softball is peaking at the right time. The Panthers extended their winning streak to eight on Friday with a 5-0 win over a tough Central team. They have outscored their opponents 20-0 in the month of May, and their junior hurler has retired 41 of the last 43 batters she’s faced, including 24 by strikeout.
On Monday, Bailee Gaskins threw the first perfect game of her already stellar high school career in a 5-0 win in Berryville over a solid Clarke team that includes D-I talent. Four days later, the junior right-hander hurled a second shutout against Central that fell just short of a no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh.
Friday’s Bull Run District matchup with the Falcons remained scoreless through three innings. Central senior pitcher Trynda Mantz deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Panther bats in check as well, allowing only four hits on the day while striking out seven.
In the bottom of the fourth things changed, as Page opened the inning with two consecutive singles by Gaskins and sophomore catcher Emma Lucas, which produced the game’s first run. Junior Savannah Shifflett drove in a second run off a fielder’s choice for a 2-0 lead that held until the Panthers added three more runs in the sixth. Page scored all three with two outs, off an error and RBI singles from Shifflett and sophomore Karleigh Austin.
Central sophomore Serenity Burnshire took the honor of spoiling Gaskins’ no-hitter by belting a double with two outs in the top of the seventh. Only two Falcons reached base, the other was by way of an error.
In Monday’s shutout of Clarke, it was junior Arianna Roudabush that lead the Panthers at the plate with two hits and three RBI. Senior Jocelyn Rinker recorded a RBI as well.
With this week’s wins, Page County moves to 15-3 overall and 11-1 in the Bull Run District. The last loss the Panthers suffered came at the hands of East Rock, 7-1, on April 18. These two district rivals that sit at the top of the Bull Run standings are headed for a rematch in a regular-season finale at Page on Friday, May 19 at 6 p.m.
However, Page must first travel to Strasburg on Tuesday, May 16 to face the Rams at 6:30 p.m.
PCHS 7, Central 1
SHENANDOAH, May 12 — The Page County baseball team also picked up a district win over Central, 7-1, on Friday behind a strong combined pitching performance by Colby Cave and Jordan Foster. The two juniors allowed no earned runs, only two hits and struck out nine.
Foster, senior Everett Foltz and junior Sean Cave each went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored a run. Cave tallied three RBI on the day.
Central opened up the scoring in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Page answered back with three runs in the fourth, before adding two more in both the fifth and sixth innings.
The win marks the second of the week for the Panthers following six consecutive losses. On Monday, Page beat Clarke, 10-4, on the road. Page County now sits at 7-11 overall and moves into a three-way tie for fifth in the Bull Run. Page, Luray and Clarke all sit at 6-8 in the district with two regular season games remaining.
On Tuesday, May 16, the Panthers will travel to Strasburg, before hosting East Rock on Friday, May 19.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.