County teams go 5-1 in region playoff openers

Five of the remaining six county spring sports teams won in regional quarterfinal games Monday night.

Kettle Run went a perfect 4-0 and will send its baseball, softball, boys (see story) and girls soccer teams to the Region 3A-East semifinals on Wednesday.

Fauquier's softball team also clinched a semifinal berth with a home shutout of Loudoun County. The Falcons will play at Bassett on Wednesday in the Region 4A-North semis.

In Purcellville, Liberty's softball team fell to Woodgrove, 5-0.

All regional semifinal winners are guaranteed a trip to the state semis next week.

Blevins' "golden goal" in double OT advances Lady Cougars

It looked like Kettle Run's girls soccer team earned its first regional quarterfinal win in school history.

The Cougars led visiting Loudoun Valley with three minutes left, 2-1. Just 30 seconds later, Vikings freshman Brendy Garcia tied the game on a header.

After a scoreless first overtime, Erica Blevins' "golden goal" sent Kettle Run to the regional semifinals.

"I think it would've gone in by itself," Blevins said. "But, I didn't want to take any chances."

The Vikings took a 1-0 lead 18 minutes into the game with junior Makayla Lewis' shot past Cougars goalie Jackie Doores.

Kettle Run senior Taylor Decker knotted the score with 3:49 left in the half.

Loudoun Valley goalie Ashley Moore was late to the goal after a defensive-zone turnover. Decker put the ball on the right side of the net before the keeper could recover.

Early in the second half, Emily Brummett put the Cougars ahead.

Brummet passed to Decker, who returned the ball immediately.

She took the pass and split defenders Jess Kamienski and Cori Dowden. Brummett fired a hard shot to the left side of the net.

The junior also assisted the game-winning goal.

Neither team could score in the first overtime, which consists of two five-minute periods. In double overtime, the first goal wins.

Brummett heard Blevins' shouts for the honors.

"We threw it in and Taylor headed it over," Brummett said. "My touch was heavy and I heard Erica squealing, 'Emily! Emily!'

"Usually when it sounds that way it means she's pretty open."

The trio of Decker, Brummett and Blevins has fueled the Conference 27 champs all season.

Coach Liz Martin found it fitting the game winner included all three players.

"They get such nice possession in and out with each other," Martin said. "It's nice to see them score off each other in defining moments."

The Cougars will face Conference 25 champions Warhill on Wednesday at King George High School at 6 p.m.

Fifth inning rally lifts Falcons over Raiders

Fauquier's softball team shutout Conference 21's Loudoun County on Monday, 3-0.

The win pushed the Falcons (17-6) to the Region 4A-North semifinals. They will travel 233 miles south to face Bassett High School on Wednesday.

Junior pitcher Tess Miller struck out seven Raiders in a complete game effort. She pitched her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first to keep Loudoun County scoreless.

In the fifth inning, Fauquier finally broke the 0-0 tie.

With the bases loaded, Ashtyn Foddrell's checked-swing infield single scored Lauren Sweeney. LeAnn Brown and Jesse Goodwin also scored on the play after an errant throw went into right field.

Brown led the Falcons with two hits on the night. Manager Mark Ott's club finished with six hits to the Raiders' three.

Kettle Run baseball takes walk-off win against William Monroe

Before the bottom of the seventh and final inning, Kettle Run Manager Ty Thorpe gave his team advice.

"I said, 'Play station-to-station,'" Thorpe recalled.

His team heeded the advice and scored three runs in the frame to beat William Monroe in the Region 3A-East quarterfinals, 3-2.

With one out, Jason Alvarez and John Lewis scored to tie the game at 2-2.

Then, junior Justin Vaclavicek hit a fly ball to right field.

The ball proved too far from the Greene Dragons' outfielder. When it dropped, Rollin Buffington scored to finish the walk-off win.

Thorpe credited his team's "clean game" free of errors as a key to victory. He also pointed to sophomore Brenton Doyle's mound presence.

"He was strong," the manager said. "He threw a kid out at home plate in the top of the sixth to keep it at 2-0. That was huge."

The Cougars (16-5) will travel to Spotsylvania High to face Poquoson on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

It will mark Thorpe's third trip to the regional semifinals. Kettle Run lost to Potomac Falls in 2009 and Broad Run in 2010.

"Good teams find a way to win," he said. "I already told them, 'We've been here before, let's find a way to get a W.'"

Stegmaier, Cougars hold off Vikings

Kettle Run's softball team came back to beat Loudoun Valley in the Region 3A-East quarterfinals on Monday, 9-7.

The Cougars took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBIs from sophomore shortstop Debbie Stuart and catcher Shelby Stegmaier.

In the third, the Vikings struck back. The Conference 28 runner-ups scored three in the top of the frame.

Stegmaier gave the lead back to Kettle Run (18-3-1) in the fifth with a bases-clearing RBI triple. The junior then scored on an error to put the Cougars ahead, 6-3.

Loudoun Valley plated two runs in the sixth to trim the deficit to 6-5. Kettle Run senior pitcher Kaitlin Munda came through with a two-RBI double in the inning's bottom half.

The Vikings scored twice in the final frame before the Cougars sealed the win.

"It was a thriller, that's for sure," Kettle Run Manager Tori Hill said. "It was a crazy game but we pulled it out."

The Cougars finished with 11 hits on the night.

Stegmaier led the team with four RBIs on two hits.

"Shelby's awesome," Hill said. "I couldn't be more proud of her.

"She's like an aged veteran. She keeps the team focused and keeps everyone settled. She's clutch, too."

Munda struck out seven in a complete-game performance. She allowed 10 hits and six earned runs.

Kettle Run will face Park View-South Hill in Wednesday's semifinal at Spotsylvania High. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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