Raiders win big in baseball, softball
Published 10:28 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Southampton Academy has a new reason to be proud. Both its baseball and softball teams brought home victories this past weekend.
The baseball team won its third straight Division III State Championship on Saturday at Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights against the Fuqua School of Farmville. SA won by a score of 6-5.
In softball, Southampton Academy defeated Fuqua 3-1 at the Dinwiddie Sports Plex last Friday to win the state championship.
Kim Nixon, wife of Raiders’ baseball coach Tim Nixon, sent in the following:
SA started the season hoping to accomplish four goals — to win the Virginia Commonwealth Conference; to win the Virginia Commonwealth Conference Tournament; to reach the State playoffs; and to ultimately win the State Championship. All four goals were accomplished through a lot of hard work and many ups and downs throughout the season. This was truly a team effort from every member of the team and from the Raiders’ coaching staff.
Not only was this the third state title in a row for the Raiders, but for the senior class of Tyler Dodson, Brooks Holland, Grant Little, Carter Brittle, James Lee and Eric Vaughan. They also won the VCC and the VCC Tournament three years in a row. These players were also undefeated for three years in a row in Conference play. They have been a part of a three-year run of 64-9.
This entire team really worked hard and accomplished tremendous feats through the guidance of Mark Lowe, Timmy Hodges, Matt Nixon, David Easterling and Tim Nixon.
Coach Tim Nixon said on Tuesday afternoon, “I’m pleasantly surprised. This team was different than teams in the past. It took us longer to come together as a whole, but once we did … .”
He recalled that at one point the team was 9-5 and then won the next seven games.
“This has been more of a rebuilding year. It took a lot of coaching and hard work from our players, but it must have worked,” Nixon said.
Next year will be another one for rebuilding as six players graduate next month: Carter Brittle, Tyler Dodson, Brooks Holland, James Lee, Grant Little and Eric Vaughan.
“It’ll be really hard to replace those six guys,” the coach added.
Overall, the team players have a “strong will to work and succeed and when we get them, they’re ready.”
“It’s just been a great year,” said Nixon.
Coach Scott Speight said of the Lady Raiders, “The team faced some adversity this season losing our starting pitcher, senior Megan Vincent, to an injury just five games into the season. Junior Kellie Ferguson stepped up to fill the void. The team went 10-6 with Kellie at the helm.
“Megan came back in time for the Conference Tournament and continued through the State Championship. Megan finished with a 7-2 record. All players rallied behind both pitchers this season.
The team had a lot of experience. We are graduating six seniors this season. That is the most since the 2012 season when we had five seniors graduate.
“Winning one State Championship is a tough job and winning three in a row takes a lot of determination, dedication and hard work on the part of all players.
“We have been blessed with some great student athletes that have that work ethic and talent.”
Game Details for Baseball
In game one of the State Tournament, the Raiders as the number two seed, were paired against number seven seed Roanoke Catholic. Roanoke Catholic was a stiff opponent through five innings, holding the Raiders down to one run. The Raiders were able to put together a big sixth inning, scoring seven runs and locking up a win by the score of 8-0. Brooks Holland was the winning pitcher striking out 9 in 6 innings, and allowing no runs. Michael Smith struck out two in the 7th inning to close the game out on the mound. At the plate, SA was led by Michael Smith, Brooks Holland, Sam Rose and Carter Brittle who each had contributing hits in the game.
Game two was on to Shepherd Stadium where SA took on number three Carlisle School of Martinsville. This game was all Raiders. Ian Mizelle pitched a no hitter to shut down the Chiefs. This was a very rare feat for the State Tournament. Mizelle also provided a big bat on the night, hitting a two run home run and a single. Sam Rose, Tyler Dodson and Eric Vaughan also had multiple hits for the Raiders in their 12-1 win. Now SA’s fourth goal was in sight and all they had to do was to defeat number four seeded Fuqua School (a team that had beat us in the 2014 State Championship).
The State Championship game was played Saturday morning at Shepherd Stadium in front of a big SA crowd. You could tell this was a big game because nerves were displayed by both teams. The contest was a back-and -orth affair. Fuqua scored first with a run the second inning.
SA bounced right back in the bottom of the second with a two run single provided by Tyler Dodson to make it 2-1. Fuqua came back in the fifth inning to score two runs to go up 3-2. SA scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth on singles by Tyler Dodson, Caleb Kidd, and a triple by Sam Rose. Michael Smith scored the third run on Ian Mizelle’s sacrifice fly. The score now was 5-3 with SA on top. Fuqua came right back in the sixth inning with a two run single by D. Osbourn to tie the game at 5-5. SA loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and Wyatt Jernigan was able to score on a passed ball. In the top of the seventh inning, Caleb Kidd came in to pitch and picked up the save shutting down Fuqua for a final score of 6-5.
Game Details for Softball
Megan Vincent allowed just four hits to Fuqua.
Southampton Academy took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth inning. In the fourth, Megan Vincent singled off of Regan Ware, driving in two runs and there was an error, scoring one run Vincent earned the win for Southampton Academy. She pitched seven innings, giving up one run, four hits, striking out eight, and walking zero. Ware took the loss for Fuqua. She went seven innings, allowing three runs, six hits and striking out eight.
Southampton Academy had six hits in the game. Kara Beth Poole and Vincent each collected multiple hits for Southampton Academy. Vincent and Poole all had two hits to lead Southampton Academy.
Gracie led Fuqua with one run batted in. She went 1-for-2 on the day.
The day before, SA had defeated Brunswick Academy in the state semifinals.
Brunswick Academy scored three runs in the third inning, but Southampton Academy still won 18-4 on Thursday. Brunswick Academy’s big inning was driven by a single by Kelsey Reed Holloway and a single by Karly Hall Blackwell.
Southampton Academy scored six runs in the fifth inning. Southampton Academy’s big inning was driven by a error, a double by Megan Vincent, a single by Kamryn Poole, and a groundout by Jordan Marks.
Vincent earned the win for Southampton Academy. She threw five innings, giving up four runs, seven hits, striking out three, and walking one. Courtney Ann Walton took the loss for Brunswick Academy. She went three and two-thirds innings, giving up 12 runs, 11 hits, and striking out two.
Southampton Academy had 16 hits in the game. Allison Matthews, Mallory Sharp, Kellie Ferguson, Mason Pope, Avery Pope, Vincent and Poole each collected multiple hits for Southampton Academy. Poole, Vincent, both Popes, Ferguson, Sharp and Matthews each managed two hits to lead Southampton Academy.
On May 16, No. 3 Southampton Academy jumped out to an early lead in victory over No. 6 Broadwater Academy in the state quarterfinals.
Southampton Academy defeated Broadwater Academy 10-3 thanks to a strong start. Southampton Academy scored on a single by Mallory Sharp in the first inning, a single by Mason Pope in the second inning, and a double by Kara Beth Poole in the second inning.
Southampton Academy took an early lead in the first inning. Mallory Sharp drove in one when she singled in the first inning.
Southampton Academy scored three runs in the fourth inning. The big inning was thanks to a single by Sharp and a double by Megan Vincent.
Vincent earned the win for Southampton Academy. She went seven innings, surrendering three runs, seven hits, striking out 11 and walking one. Dylan took the loss for Broadwater Academy. She tossed six innings, surrendering 10 runs, 14 hits and striking out two.
Southampton Academy had 14 hits in the game. Kellie Ferguson, Sharp, Kara Beth Poole and Vincent each collected multiple hits for Southampton Academy. Ferguson led Southampton Academy with four hits in four at bats.
Broadwater Academy collected seven hits. Palmer and Greta each collected multiple hits for Broadwater Academy. Palmer led Broadwater Academy with one run batted in. She went 3-for-4 on the day.