Lady Dukes win back-to-back Conference 41 championships

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

by Jonathan Smith

The Lady Dukes captured the Conference 41 tournament championship with a 8-0 win over Surry in the first round and outlasted the Chincoteague Ponies in a rain-suspended championship game.

On May 24, the Lady Dukes took on the Lady Cougars of Surry County High School. The Dukes jumped out early with a run in the first inning when Tori Queen score on a Kayce Gray RBI single.

The Dukes added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning when Cameron Pagan score on a wild pitch and Sydney Carter scored on an E.J. Bankson RBI single. The Dukes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, pushing the lead to 8-0. Pagan, Carter, and Edythe Carr all scored on wild pitches in the inning and Carr hit a 2-RBI double.

E.J. Bankson pitched six innings for the Dukes giving up no hits, no runs, and struck out 11 Lady Cougars. Edythe Carr came in to finish off the game in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Madison O’Brien caught her 11th runner attempting to steal a base of the season when she threw out a Surry baserunner in the top of the 6th inning.

The Dukes then took on the Chincoteague Ponies, in Windsor, on May 25 for the Conference 41 Championship. The game was a rematch of last year’s championship game. The Dukes jumped out early when Sydney Carter score on an Alyssa Funai RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. Pitcher E.J. Bankson struck out four Ponies in two innings of work before the game was delayed due to lighting. The game was then suspended due to poor field conditions.

The game was unable to continue on May 26 and both teams decided to not complete the game, leaving the Dukes tournament championships as the higher seed.

The Dukes began the 1A Regional Tournament on Monday in Windsor, as the overall first seed, against Luray from Page County, but lost 13-4 to end the season.

Head Coach Sean Wade said, “I’m very proud of our girls. We accomplished a lot this season. We won the Tri-Rivers District title for the first time since the district was reformed. We also became back-to-back Conference 41 Champions.

“At the end of the season there is only one team that is truly happy, but with no seniors, we have a lot to be proud of and Windsor has a lot to build on for next year.”

Assistant Coach Jonathan Smith said, “This season was truly a blessing. I think we grew as a program and were able to accomplish some of our lofty goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season. I would like to thank everyone for their support of our softball team this season!”