POOLESVILLE – In a battle between neighboring schools, the Quince Orchard High School softball team was able to improve their record to 13-2 as the Cougars went on the road to defeat Poolesville 6-3 on April 27.
“It was solid,” said QO Head Coach Colleen Adams. “We made some mistakes, but we battled through those. Poolesville’s a tough team. It worked out in the end for us. We had some timely hits and some timely outs.”
The first run of the game came when a wild pitch from Poolesville sophomore Ainsley Hagen resulted in the Cougars’ junior shortstop Aniko Alexander making her way from third to home in the top of the second for the 1-0 lead. In the same inning, sophomore catcher Caleigh Sewall hit a sac fly to center field, which sent home senior outfielder Rachel Datu for the 2-run lead for Quince Orchard.
Three innings later, sophomore first baseman Chloe Barsness stepped up to the plate and hit an RBI single to drive in sophomore infielder Kelly Jones and to put the Cougars up by three in the top of the fourth.
“I’m glad I got on base,” said Barsness. “It wasn’t the best for me, but the fact that it helped our team score a run that we needed was good in the end.”
The Falcons (7-5) didn’t back down though because in the bottom of the fourth, Hagen singled to center field and drove in junior second baseman Alaina Shields. Then, senior pitcher Gwen Boe doubled and advanced to third on an error, while Hagen scored to cut the deficit to 3-2.
“I feel like we battled,” said Poolesville Head Coach Laurie Wohnhas. “We had to make a pitching change, but I thought that Gwen did a great job not, warming up or anything. She really kept us in the game. We just didn’t get that timely hit to push people through.”
An insane series of events occurred at the top of the sixth that stopped the home team’s momentum. After Barsness was able to connect a hit, Poolesville was able to tag out Sewall as she tried to advance from first to second.
However, an error allowed Barsness advanced to second, and junior designated hitter Jessica Brandsdorfer made her way to home plate to extend the Cougars’ lead to 4-2.
On the next at-bat, Alexander hit a double to deep right-center field and drove in her teammate, to put QO up 5-2 in the sixth.
“It was really good to be there for my team when they needed me to get that hit,” said Alexander.
The Falcons kept themselves alive in the bottom of the sixth when Boe reached on an outfield error, which resulted in a Poolesville run scoring to cut the deficit to 5-3.
“They just keep improving every day,” said Wohnhas. “They’re battlers. They want to play hard.”
However, with the bases loaded, Poolesville catcher Colleen Hueting dropped the ball on a third strike, resulting in pitcher Tehya Harbaugh stealing home plate on the error and extending the Cougars’ lead to 6-3 at the top of the seventh.
“The team really pulled together there at the end to get those last outs,” said Alexander. “So it was a tough game.”
“I’m glad we won,” said Barsness. “We had a few tough times, but in the end, we had to pull through.”
Harbaugh not only scored a run, but she also pitched a complete game, despite allowing three runs.
“The runs were big,” said Adams. “The defense is really something we’ve been focusing on as well: 1 to 9, everyone can come up big for us and has come up big in different times here in the season, different games, different situations.”
However, what’s impressed Adams about this year’s Cougars, she said, is their ability to play defense, move through tough situations in innings, make comebacks when they are down and not bring bad at-bats when out on the field.
“They take it play-by-play and pitch-by-pitch,” said Adams. “And our pitching’s been great all season long. It really helps us stay in every game.”