By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
First the Bearcats — and then the rain —came tumbling down.
The first inning was a perfect ‘10’ for Tazewell with six hits and four walks adding up to 10 runs in an 11-1 five-inning victory over Virginia High Tuesday. Moments after pitcher Zoe McReynolds scooped up a grounder and threw to first for the final out, the skies opened but the win was already secure.
Whitney Saunders drove in four first inning runs to ignite the triumph. Saunders drove in one with an infield single and then blasted a long three-run home run to left later in the stanza. She then boomed a triple to right field in the fourth to lead the hit parade for the Lady Dogs (6-9) who stopped VHS (3-11) as McReynolds allowed just four hits.
Saunders, the senior shortstop, said, “I knew going in that I needed to be more patient at the plate. I was told to keep my weight back and stand straight when I went into the ball. I just let it fly and that was an awesome feeling when the ball left the bat. I was proud of the while team today. We hustled and made the routine plays all game.
Karlee Wasilewski walked twice and scored a pair of first inning runs as tge Bulldogs had its best at-bat of the season. Laken Sparks was hit by a pitch and scored on a passed ball. McReynolds forced a run home when she walked with the bases loaded. Laura Kincer tripled home Emily Rose and McReynolds. Saunders’homer drove in Wasilewski and Gracey Cline. Sparks followed with a triple but was left on third.
Virginia High’s lone run came in the second inning.
Delaney Stone ripped a double to the fence in left field and advanced to third on a ground out. Hannah Dimery got the run home with another double.
Baylee Nave opened the game on the mound for VHS. Audrey Chapman came in to relieve and held Tazewell to a single run over the last three innings in a good effort for the Lady Bearcats.
Ally Lee made several standout plays at third early in the game to aid the defense and Shaynna McReynolds had another dandy game in right field for the Lady Bulldogs, who won their second home game in a row.
McReynolds was in command all afternoon, noting, It feels really good. We played great defense and the sticks were all over the ball today. That makes for a much better day when you re pitching. The confidence level was high once we got that early lead and we all played better.
For coach Tom Keene, the game was fun to talk about — but not until he got that final out in the scorebook.
“You can’t trust Virginia High. they will fool you,” said the Tazewell skipper. “V-High is a good team, a good-hitting team and they can come back at any time. We were fortunate to get ahead and make some good plays.
“Our offense got us started and we played well in the field to protect the lead. This was a team effort all the way.
Tazewell travels to Lebanon Tuesday and then hosts Union on Senior Night on May 22.
At Tazewell High School
Virginia High...................010 000 — 1 4 2
Tazewell.........................(10)10 00 — 11 6 1
Nave and Grizzle. Chapman and Grizzle. W—McReynolds; L—Nave. HR—Saunders (T) 1st, 2 on. ꆱ