Panthers move to 5-0 with two slaughter-rule victories this week

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Maddie Gordon
Senior Maddie Gordon scores one of the 10 runs Page County needed to put away Strasburg in 4-1/2 innings on May 14.

By Randy Arrington

SHENANDOAH, May 14 — The Page County High School softball team continues to dominate the Bull Run District, posting two slaughter-rule victories this week. Among their five games this season, the Panthers (5-0) have won three games by more than 10 runs and outscored their opponents 47-1.

The one run that Page gave up was against Rappahannock on Monday. PCHS senior hurler Taylor Hankins engaged in a pitching duel with Rapp’s Claire Keyser, which ended in a 2-1 Panther victory. It has proven to be Page County’s toughest matchup so far this season, despite Rapp’s 1-4 record. Hankins recorded 14 K’s on the day.

On Friday, Hankins was one batter from being perfect, as the senior struck out nine of 16 batters faced in a no-hit, shutout performance against Strasburg. The Panthers put up 10 runs on seven hits in just three innings to lead 10-0, a lead they held through the top of the fifth. Hankins started out 12 of the 16 batters with a first-pitch strike. The only runner the Rams got to first was hit by a pitch.

Page opened up with three runs in the first, followed by a big four-run second inning fueled by sacrifice flies by junior Taylor Umberger and Hankins, and a towering solo home run by senior Morgan Lucas. The Panthers added three more runs in the third to close out the scoring. Senior Tana Merica went 2-for-2 at the plate, while senior Maddie Gordon went 2-for-3 at the plate, with two runs scored.

On Wednesday, the Panthers defeated visiting Madison 13-0, fueled by a big 10-run second inning. Page recorded 10 hits on the day, while Hankins and freshman Bailee Gaskins combined for a ho-hitter. Lucas, junior Kirsten Hensley and sophomore Jocelyne Rinker all went 2-for-2 on the day, while Umberger went 2-for-3. Hankins got the win on the mound with 10 strikeouts.

With consistency at the plate, flawless play in the field and powerful performances on the mound, the Panthers look to once again contend for a state title — something they claimed in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The years in between, they contended for the title as well, but came up short.

Page County hosts Clarke County (4-0) on Monday, the only other undefeated team in the district. Then the Panthers hit the road for two games, traveling to Rappahannock on Tuesday and to East Rock on Friday.

For full schedules, results, rosters and standings, check out the Bull Run District website.



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