Tidewater Academy wins VCC softball title

Published 10:56 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tidewater Academy claimed the Virginia Commonwealth Conference championship here Saturday with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Brunswick Academy in extra innings.

Hayes Holdsworth, who got the pitching victory and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, drove in Cary Beahm with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

TA draws the top seed in the Virginia Independent Schools state playoffs and will host eighth-seeded Carlisle School in the quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11, in Wakefield. The Lady Warriors are looking to repeat as state champions in Division 3.

Tidewater led 2-0 in Saturday’s VCC final until the top of the seventh, when third-seeded Brunswick rallied for four runs appeared poised for the upset.

The Lady Warriors, 17-2, rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings and set up Holdsworth’s heroics in the ninth.

Holdsworth improved her pitching record to 10-0, striking out eight.

Offensive standouts for TA were Marianna Stephenson with two hits, a run and a stolen base; Samantha Spain with three hits, a run, an RBI and a stolen base; and Holdsworth with two hits and three RBIs.

Spain, Stephenson and Holdsworth were selected to the all-tournament team.

Tidewater advanced to the championship game by beating Southampton Academy 8-0 in Friday’s semifinals. The Lady Warriors broke open a tight game by scoring four runs in the fifth.

TA had 13 hits and limited SA to two hits behind the pitching of Taylor Warner, who went the distance and struck out 10 batters.

Courtney Tayloe took the pitching loss for Southampton Academy, which got two hits from Jessica Dunn.

TA was led offensively by Warner with two hits and an RBI: Stephenson with three hits, three RBIs, three runs and an RBI; Holdsworth with three hits, a run and two RBIs; and Jordan Clarke with two hits, a run, a double, a triple, an RBI and a stolen base.