By Randy Arrington
Three local teams survived the first round of the Region 2B tournaments held on Monday. Rain forced games in some areas to Tuesday, so some semifinal seedings still remain uncertain for Wednesday. Three other local teams closed out their spring seasons in the quarterfinal round, but for the three that survived…they now sit one win away from qualifying for their respective state tournaments.
SHENANDOAH, May 29 — After a disappointing one-run loss last Thursday in the district title game, the Page County Panthers bounced back at home on Monday with a convincing, 8-3, victory over Mountain View in a Region 2B quarterfinal.
The fourth-seeded Panthers produced 11 hits during the game and committed no errors in the field. Every single Page player that stepped up to the plate got at least one hit on the day. Senior Hayden Plum went 2-for-4, while junior Jordan Foster went 2-for-3.
Junior Noah Lucas got things rolling with a lead-off, solo home run in the second inning. However, the Generals answered back with two runs in the third for a 2-1 lead. Page put up four runs in the bottom of the third off a sac fly, a two-run error and a deep double to right-center field by senior catcher Everett Foltz to recapture the lead at 5-2.
The Panthers added another run in the fourth off a fielder’s choice, and two more in the fifth off a double down the left field line by senior Jacob Williams.
Mountain View was able to pick up one more run in the fifth off a fielder’s choice, after Page turned a double play in a bases-loaded situation with no outs. The Panthers were lucky to only allow one run in the fifth. The Generals (12-10) only mustered four hits during the game and committed some costly errors in the field.
Junior Colby Cave and Foster combined for nine strikeouts on the hill. Foster, who entered in the fifth in relief, only allowed one hit and no earned runs.
While the pitching was solid enough to win, it was the Panther bats that won the day. Not only did every player get a hit on the day…but among the 11 hits recorded, six were doubles and one a home run. Page hit the ball deep (to the fence) several times, which allowed base runners to stretch extra bases.
Last Thursday, Page dropped a heart-breaking, 2-1, walk-off loss at East Rockingham in the Bull Run District Tournament championship. Both teams put up one run in the first inning and four hits during the game. The 1-1 tie remained until the Eagles’ final at-bat when they squeaked out a run and the district tournament title.
The Panthers left 10 runners on base in that game. Foltz lead the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double. Page benefitted from a few walks, two hit batters (both Williams), and three East Rock errors, but they couldn’t put it all together at the right time to score runs.
Now, Page County (11-13)…after a roller coaster season of both winning and losing streaks…sit just one win away from heading to the VHSL Class 2 state tournament next week. The Panthers await the outcome of today’s Region 2B quarterfinal between No. 8 Clarke (8-13) and top-seeded, James River District champion Buckingham (14-2). If the Knights win, then Page will be traveling to Buckingham on Wednesday for the Region 2B semifinals. If Clarke wins, the Panthers will host the Eagles on Wednesday.
McGAHEYSVILLE, May 29 — Seventh-seeded Luray fell, 8-4, at No. 2 East Rockingham (18-4) in a Region 2B quarterfinal on Monday. The Bulldogs have cooled off as of late, losing four of their last five, after previously winning five in-a-row during a mid-season turnaround.
Luray now finishes the season at 10-14. The Bulldogs were only one game away from being in the same position — one win from state — as the Panthers (with the same exact record).
East Rockingham faces the winner of Madison/Stuarts Draft Wednesday in the semifinals.
SHENANDOAH, May 29 — No walk-off win this time…the top-seeded Page County Panthers left no doubt in the Region 2B quarterfinal on Monday, as they defeated No. 8 Madison, 12-0, in a five-inning, shortened game. The Panthers put up six runs in the second, and six runs in the fourth.
Junior Bailee Gaskins held the visiting Mountaineers in check, hurling a one-hit shutout in which only four Madison players reached base — two by errors, one by way of a walk, and one hit. At the plate, Gaskins went 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the second.
Junior Adryn Martin had a stellar day the plate, not only going a perfect 3-for-3 and posting three RBI — but also recording three deep doubles, including one that hit the top bar on the fence in right-center field. Most of the Panthers’ 12 hits were spread out, with nearly every player on the team reaching base during the game. In addition to those 12 runs and 12 hits, Page left nine runners on base.
Page County (21-3) is now one win away from returning to the VHSL Class 2 state tournament, where they finished as state runner-up to Appomattox one year ago after a 1-0 loss in the title game.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the Region 2B semifinals, the Panthers will host the winner of East Rockingham/Buckingham, which takes place on Tuesday. The Region 2B championship is slated for Friday, June 2.
In other quarterfinal round action, sixth-seeded Central upset No. 3 Clarke, 5-1, in Berryville on Monday. Now the Falcons (13-10) await the winner of Strasburg/Stuarts Draft for Wednesday’s other semifinal.
LURAY, May 29 — The Luray girls soccer team had to come from behind to earn a 3-2 quarterfinal win over seventh-seeded Madison in the Region 2B tournament on Monday. The Mountaineers jumped in front 2-0, but could not hold on down the stretch as the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals for the victory.
The win was a nice bounce back after the Bulldogs suffered a 6-0 loss to Clarke in the Bull Run District tournament championship last Thursday. The Eagles eliminated Page County (4-14) in the Region 2B quarterfinals, 11-0, on Monday.
Now, second-seeded Luray (14-6) hosts No. 3 Central of Woodstock (10-6-2) for a Region 2B semifinal at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 at Bulldog Field. The other semifinal features No. 4 Strasburg (12-6-1) at No. 1 Clarke (19-0).
The Region 2B championship is slated for Friday, June 2. Both participants in the title game earn a spot in next week’s state tournament.
BERRYVILLE, May 29 — In boys soccer, the eighth-seeded Luray Bulldogs (4-12) ran up against a buzz saw in Monday’s quarterfinal, falling to No. 1 Clarke, 11-0. Second-seeded Madison (16-4) also earned a quarterfinal win, 2-0, over No. 7 Central (6-10-2).
Clarke now awaits the winner of Mt. View/Stuarts Draft, while Madison awaits the winner of East Rock/Strasburg for Wednesday’s semifinal round. Those winners advance to Friday’s Region 2B championship and earn a spot in next week’s state tournament.
Page County boys soccer (0-17) concluded its season last week in the Bull Run District tournament.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.