William Monroe High School’s softball team beat Culpeper County High School 11-1 in five innings last Tuesday in their last regular season game, and again 19-1 in the first round of regional play.
Behind two doubles from senior Lacey Beale and two home runs from senior Emma Pickett last Tuesday, head coach Greg “Tom” Breeden said the teams seniors led them to victory.
“The seniors have been leading this team pretty much all year,” he said. “This is a senior led team right now, and I’m really proud of them.”
Culpeper scored a run in the top of the first inning, but the Blue Devils wouldn’t cross home plate again for the remainder of the game.
In the bottom of the first, Beale’s double and a walk earned by senior Jessica Ford put two Dragons on the bases. Pickett then hit her first of two out-of-thepark home runs, giving Monroe an early 3-1 lead. Pickett’s second home run of the night came at the bottom of the third, advancing the score to 4- 1. The home run marked Pickett’s sixth in her last season.
“I’m very happy with how we played and how I played,” Pickett said. “I came out with a few nerves knowing it was my last game, but everybody played great. I just got up there, got my pitches and it happened like it did.”
In the fourth inning, Monroe saw the bases loaded after both Kaitlyn Napier and Pickett earned walks, followed by a single by Beale. Freshman Mara Woolford hit a single that allowed Napier and Beale to cross home plate.
The dragons led 6-1 going into the fifth inning, and it would be the fifth inning that would secure the win and end the game early due to mercy rule.
Freshman Rachel Hill made a one-base hit and scored a run on an error. Freshman Savannah Meade then hit a single of her own before advancing to second on a single from Napier. It was Beale who hit another double, allowing Monroe to score two more runs and putting the team up 9-1.
“Lacey reads the defense. She’s a slap hitter, of course. Being a senior, she’s able to read what the defense is giving her and with her speed she’s able to use the whole field,” Breeden said.
Ford then sealed the games fate after a hit deep into the outfield and an error that scored another run and advanced Ford to third base. Ford ran the last one in for the Dragons after a play from Pickett, ending the district match-up 11-1.
Last Tuesday’s victory clinched Monroe the No. 4 seed in the regional tournament. The team faced Culpeper again in the first round of regional play, where they again emerged with a 19-1 victory. Monroe was slated to play the No. 2 seed, Skyline High School, in the regional semifinal game after press time on May 28.
“They’ve really stepped up here the last couple of weeks,” Breeden said. “We play a tough schedule, and I feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”