Softball Roundup: Grafton Wins Twice, Tabb Drops Two Games During Tourney is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Kayley Cox throws a pitch against Jamestown. (file photo)
Kayley Cox earned a pair of wins during the Jazmine Foreman Memorial Scholarship Tournament. (File Photo)

Grafton (5-1) had no trouble putting away Lakeland during the Clippers’ opening game of the Jazmine Foreman Memorial Scholarship Tournament at Grassland High School on Thursday.

The Clippers scored 17 runs on 19 hits to easily defeat Lakeland 17-0 in five innings.

Kerstin Roth sparked the Grafton offense in the first inning with a single, which was followed by a stolen base. Christa Hall hit a sacrifice fly that moved Roth to third base.

Tara Deck stepped to the plate and hit a single, which was followed by a Marika Whitlatch triple that brought home two runs.

Kayley Cox, who earned the win on the mound for Grafton, kept the momentum rolling with an RBI single.

Three consecutive singles and a strikeout later, the inning came to a close with Grafton holding a 5-0 advantage.

The Clippers never looked back, piling on eight more runs in the second inning and another three in the third.

“We just put the ball in play,” Grafton Coach Vanessa Young said. “[Lakeland] couldn’t really do much about it. They were a really young team.”

While the Grafton offense rolled, Cox and Whitlatch split time on the mound, each throwing two innings and striking out three batters.

Whitlatch surrendered a walk during her outing, which prevented Grafton from recording a perfect game.

The game was called after five innings due to the tournament’s 10-run rule that ends a game if one team leads by 10 or more runs after five full innings.

Grafton: 583;10 — 17 19 0
Lakeland: 000;00 — 0 0 1

WP: Kayley Cox
LP: Matthews

Grafton: Kerstin Roth (4-5, 2 RBIs), Kayley Cox (3-3, 3 RBIs), Marika Whitlatch (2-3, 3 RBIs), Kayla Moore (2-2, 3 RBIs)
Lakeland: Stackland (Walk)


Fifth Inning Doubles Lift Grafton to Victory 

In their second tournament game of the day, the Clippers faced a tougher test against Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, holding on for a narrow 3-2 win.

An hourlong rain delay pushed back the start time of the game, which had to be called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to darkness.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy got on the board first in the top of the third inning, scoring on a wild Kayley Cox pitch that brought a runner home from third base.

Grafton (6-1) scored in a similar fashion in the bottom of the third inning as Kayla Moore scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.

The Saints responded in the top of the fourth inning, driving in a run off a sacrifice fly to retake the lead.

Three consecutive doubles from Jessie Sprouse, Christa Hall and Tara Deck in the bottom of the fifth inning proved to be turning point of the game for Grafton.

Hall’s double brought Sprouse home to tie the game at 2-2. Deck stepped to the plate and drove in Hall from second base for what would prove to be the game-winning run.

Grafton will continue its season Tuesday as the Clippers travel to take on Bruton at 4:30 p.m.

NSA: 001;100 — 2 4 0
Grafton: 001;02x — 3 5 0

WP: Kayley Cox
LP: Katie Peelen

NSA: Madi Wilson (2-3), Kelly Turner (1-2, 3B)
Grafton: Jessie Sprouse (2-2), Christa Hall (1-2, RBI), Tara Deck (1-3, RBI)


Tabb Rally Attempt Cut Short Due to Tournament Rule

Tabb and Camden (N.C.) struggled to find offense during both teams’ first game in the Jazmine Foreman Memorial Scholarship Tournament at Grassland High School on Thursday.

Despite recording 11 hits, Camden scored one run in the top of the second inning. Unfortunately for Tabb, that one run proved to be enough as the Bruins edged the Tigers 1-0.

In the top of the second inning, Shelby Tillery of Camden (N.C.) scored the game’s only run after hitting a solo home run to put the Bruins up 1-0.

Tabb (3-3) pitcher Alexis Gore limited Camden’s scoring chances throughout the game, striking out three batters over six innings and giving up hits that were easily playable for the Tigers defense.

With Tabb’s faster player, Emily Gavin, on second base with one out in the bottom of the sixth, the game was ended per a tournament rule that prevents a game from lasting longer than 1 hour, 20 minutes.

“It’s unfortunate that’s how the game had to end,” Tabb Coach Brian Verstynen said. “I was planning to advance Gavin to third on a bunt the next at-bat. I felt like had we kept playing, we would have at least tied the game up.”

Camden: 010;000 — 1 11 0
Tabb: 000;000 — 0 5 0

WP: Shelby Tillery
LP: Alexis Gore

Camden: Shelby Tillery (2-3, HR), Nixon (3-3)
Tabb: Amber Verstynen (1-2), Emily Gavin (1-3), Beth Ann Hall (1-2)


Tigers Held to Three Hits Against Grassfield

Similar to their first game of the day, the Tigers struggled to put runs on the board against tournament host Grassfield.

The Grizzlies jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning, plating four batters on three hits and a pair of walks.

After struggling during the first inning, Tabb (3-4) pitcher Alexis Gore settled down and allowed one run and three hits over the remaining five innings.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, finding consistent offense was the theme of their day.

Ashtyn Clark and Beth Ann Hall each got into scoring position by hitting doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. In both innings, each runner ended up on third base but was unable to reach home.

Tabb head coach Brian Verstynen praised Grassfield pitcher Tyra Workman, who shut out the Tigers while allowing three hits.

“She helped carry them,” he said. “We just couldn’t get anything going at the plate.”

The Tigers will look to rebound from back-to-back losses when they travel to take on York at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Tabb: 000;000 — 0 3 1
Grassfield: 401;000 — 5 7 0

WP: Tyra Workman
LP: Alexis Gore

Tabb: Amber Verstynen (1-2, BB), Ashtyn Clark (1-3, 2B), Beth Ann Hall (1-2, 2B)
Grassfield: Rose Gent (2-2, 2 RBIs)