ROCKVILLE – The thunder rolled and raindrops fell as Blair sophomore pitcher Courtney Wyche stood on the mound Monday, awaiting word from the umpire and head coaches about whether the game would continue.
It was the bottom of the sixth, and Wootton had managed to avoid a Blazer shutout by scoring four runs in quick succession. However, as the sky darkened and the thunder rumbled in the distance, the umpire made the decision to call the game, and Blair escaped with a 9-4 victory.
“The momentum turned, and they had all the momentum,” said Blair head coach Louis Hoelman. “I don’t know what would have happened if the game would have continued. They’re a good team, and they were getting hot now. I’m real happy that we got it in early and we had a little bit of room for error there.”
The Blazers jumped out to an early lead when Wyche hit a home run over the fence and the Patriots scrambled to recover.
Blair senior Allison McKenzie hit a single at the top of the sixth that resulted in two runs, and soon the Blazers were nursing a 9-0 lead.
The light rain increased to a steadier drizzle as Wootton freshman Shannon Roberts took her turn at bat.
Undaunted, Roberts smacked the ball deep into the outfield as the Blazers rushed to retrieve it. During the fray, two Patriots slid into home to finally put Wootton on the board.
The Patriots earned two more runs in front of the previously quiet home crowd that now cheered and shouted its approval despite the fact that the umpire strode onto the field a few seconds later.
After a brief conversation with Hoelman and Wootton head coach Alton Lightsey, the umpire brought the Patriots’ momentum to a screeching halt and the game was unceremoniously over.
The win earned the Blazers an 11-3 record. Wootton dropped to 9-3.
With the softball playoff seeding meeting a week away, the Patriots might have a chance in the postseason to finish what they started against Blair.
“This was a hiccup. We want to get better every day, and today we didn’t show very well,” said Lightsey. “We probably could have made a few plays over here at first base and maybe at shortstop. Had we done that, then these four runs would have made it a real game.”