Softball Roundup: Warhill Offense Explodes in Historic Win Against Grafton is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Keely Rochard (file photo)
Keely Rochard (file photo)

With an unrelenting performance from its defense, offense and pitching, Warhill ended Grafton’s perfect start to the season and made history in the process.

The Lions’ 9-1 win Thursday night marked the squad’s first against the Clippers in school history.

Pitcher Keely Rochard threw a complete game and allowed just four hits.

The Lions, meanwhile, tallied 14 hits, including a grand slam and a two-run shot, in a dominating performance.

“It was important for the girls to prove we can hang with girls people thought we couldn’t hang with before,” Warhill Coach Meredith Powell said.

Warhill (4-1) opened with a two-run first inning, fueled by the top of the order. Jasmine Ortiz reached on a stand-up double and quickly advanced to third thanks to a Grafton fielding error. With runners on the corners, Colby Norris singled to left to score Ortiz.

A passed ball then allowed Olivia Schulz to tag home, but Norris was caught stealing second to end the inning.

Jessie Sprouse launched a solo home run over the left-field fence to get Grafton (4-1) on the board in the third inning. Kerstin Roth followed up with a double, but was stranded at second. The inning was the only in which the Clippers tallied multiple hits.

Warhill responded with a home run of their own in the bottom of the third. Norris, who finished 3 of 4 with five runs batted in, connected for a grand-slam to straight-away center for a 6-1 advantage.

A sacrifice fly from lead off hitter Hayley Schulz plated Makayla Fannin in the fourth inning. Olivia Schulz’s two-run blast in the sixth brought Ortiz home and capped the afternoon’s scoring.

Warhill’s second, third, and cleanup batter finished 9 of 11 with seven runs batted in and five runs scored. Eight of the nine batters tallied at least one single, and everyone in the order reached first at least once.

“I call it the ‘p-word’ because I don’t say it often, but they know when I’m proud of them I’ll tell them,” Powell said of the offensive performance.

Warhill’s defense did not allow Grafton much room for a rally. Rochard had a no-hitter entering the third inning and, despite giving up a run, returned to strike out seven batters and allow just three more hits.

“Defensively, we held it down,” Rochard said. “My curveball was really on, and the catcher was great.”

Warhill’s Kayley Cox tossed a complete game, allowing nine runs on 14 hits. Cox also struck out three batters.

Grafton Coach Vanessa Young said despite the low scoring, the Clippers made good contact against Rochard. Young hopes to see Grafton come out firing later this week.

“We just have to be able to step up against good teams. We came off a big win over York and then came out kind of flat,” Young said. “You can’t do that. You have to stay up each game.”

Warhill takes the field again April 14 for a matchup with Jamestown.

Grafton returns to action over spring break to take part in a doubleheader with Lakeland and Nansemond Suffolk next Thursday.

-Chris Weber

Grafton: 001;000;0 – 1 4 1
Warhill: 204;102;x – 9 14 0

WP: Keely Rochard
LP: Kayley Cox

Grafton: Sprouse (1-3, HR)
Warhill: Ortiz (3-3, 2B, BB, 2R), O. Schulz (3-4, HR, 2R, 2 RBI), Norris (3-4, HR, 2B, R, 5 RBI)


York Pitchers Combine for Perfect Game

Coming off a 1-3 loss to Grafton, York’s softball team came out and made a statement against Jamestown (0-5) at home Thursday afternoon.

York (4-2) pitchers Chelsea Evans and Molly Rogerson combined to pitch a perfect game, striking out a a total of nine batters en route to its 11-0 win in five innings.

Evans pitched the first four perfect innings, striking out six batters in the process. Rogerson came in to close out the fifth inning, striking out all three batters faced.

“You can’t talk about a no-hitter or a perfect game, and most say you can’t even think about it or you’ll jinx it,” York Coach Ashley Meredith said after the game. “I’m really proud of both of them for teaming up and working together today. I’m blessed to have two versatile pitchers on my roster.”

While the York pitchers shone on the mound, the Falcon batters made sure their pitching counterparts did not steal all of the spotlight.

The Falcons recorded 10 hits and drove in 11 runs thanks to home runs from Destiny Martinez, Hayley Winfree and Devon Smith.

York will take a long break before resuming its season at home at 4:30 p.m. April 14 against Tabb. Jamestown will host Warhill at 6:30 p.m. April 14.

Jamestown: 000;00 – 0 0 7
York: 204;5x – 11 10 0

WP: Evans
LP: Reynolds

York: Martinez (2-4, HR, RBI), Winfree (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Smith (1-3, HR, 2 RBI)


Tabb Holds Off Late Bruton Rally Attempt

Emily Gavis smacked three doubles and drove in a run to help lift Tabb (3-2) over Bruton 6-4 at home Thursday afternoon.

In her first game since having shoulder surgery, Ashtyn Clark came in and made an immediate contribution, driving in two runs for the Tigers.

Kelsey Sluss attempted to keep Bruton (2-3) in the game, driving in three runs on two singles and two sacrifice plays.

The Panthers plated two runners in the top of the seventh inning, but were unable to close the gap completely.

Tabb will continue its season by playing a currently undecided opponent in the Jasmine Foremen Tournament on April 9 at Grassfield High School.

Bruton will next host Grafton at 4:30 p.m. April 14.

Bruton: 101;000;2 – 4 6 0
Tabb: 000;141;x – 6 11 1

WP: Gore
LP: Sluss

Bruton: Sluss (2-4, 3 RBI), Tracy (2-3, RBI)
Tabb: Emily Gavin (3-3, 3 2B, RBI), Ashtyn Clark (1-3, 2 RBI)