Knights Pound Blazers, 23-0
Turner Ashby Still Unbeaten
BRIDGEWATER – Coasting to her 18th win of the season, Turner Ashby High School sophomore ace Natalie Helmick pulled off a rare feat at the plate.
Helmick doubled her season total with two home runs and had five RBIs – in the same inning.
“I doubt that’s ever happened,” TA coach Laura Bowman said.
Helmick’s three-run homer sliced around the left field foul pole during a nine-run third inning as the top-seeded Knights went on to rout eighth-seeded Spotswood 23-0 in a slaughter rule-shortened five-inning Conference 29 softball quarterfinal game Monday.
TA improved to a perfect 20-0 and will face fifth-seeded Waynesboro at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals at Monticello High School. No. 2 Fort Defiance will play No. 3 Broadway in the 8 p.m. nightcap.
The semifinal winners will earn a berth in the 3A West regional tournament, where undefeated Brookville will likely be lurking.
“We have one goal in mind and that’s to make it all the way,” said Helmick, who finished 4-for-4 with six RBIs and was a triple shy of the hitting cycle.
If the Knights get past Waynesboro for a third time this season, they could get a rematch with Fort. TA swept the Indians in close contests, 3-2 and 5-3.
“We go back and forth,” Helmick said of Fort. “We have a long history with them.”
SHS senior ace Anna Patterson had surgery on her throwing shoulder last week and was unavailable to pitch Monday. Sophomore Hayley Johnson got the start for the Trailblazers, who committed eight errors and finished their season 2-17.
“We do have a relatively young team,” said SHS first-year coach Summer Ramsey, who will resign due to work constraints as a teacher in Rockingham County. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year. The ones we do have really stepped up this year. Most of our field are underclassmen or girls that just came up from [junior varsity] that are still learning.”
TA took an 8-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
Spotswood 000 00 – 0 2 8
Turner Ashby 849 2x – 23 16 1
Johnson, Clatterbuck (3), L. Patterson (4) and L. Patterson, Miller (4); Helmick, Ala. Miller (4) and Bosley. W—Helmick (18-0). L—Johnson (na). HR—TA: Helmick (4).