Sterling, Va. (April 21, 2015) — It was felines versus canines when the Tuscarora Huskies trekked east to visit the Potomac Falls Panthers for an evening of Conference 14 sports.
Tuscarora took two of the three varsity contests, winning in baseball and girls’ soccer, while Potomac Falls claimed the softball and junior varsity girls’ soccer matches.
Baseball: Tuscarora 5, Potomac Falls 4
It was a very happy pack of Huskies who gathered around head coach Mark Bauer as he offered praise for earning “two big wins this week.”
Bauer’s squad defeated conference foe Briar Woods last Friday.
“Any time you come here, you know you’re going to get their best effort,” said Bauer, praising the Panthers’ years of consistency under coach Joe Terango. “We got up early, but they scratched back, and we were able to extend our lead. That was big.”
In the second inning, Tuscarora drew first blood when Bryce Pearson produced a hitless run by walking, stealing second and scoring on a two-base throwing error when the Panthers tried to pick him off.
Dominick Marinelli tagged an RBI single in the third, which Pearson followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 cushion.
An RBI single by Charlie Curtis, followed by a run-scoring wild pitch, brought Potomac Falls within one. That’s when, with the bases full of Panthers threatening more, the game’s key moment happened.
Bauer relieved right-hander Nick Giuliano with freshman lefty Wes Glass to face senior lefty bat Jordan Brown. Using his cross-body delivery, Glass induced Brown to bounce to first.
Glass went on to finish the game, going three and one-third innings to earn the win. His only blemish came with two outs in the final frame, when Justin Robles got around for a two-run homer to left, producing the final score.
Softball: Potomac Falls 8, Tuscarora 5
A six-run fifth inning completely flipped the game’s script, turning a three-run deficit into a three-run lead for the home side.
Getting late-game production from the lower half of their order, the Panthers saw the first three batters reach base and eventually score. The short-lived tie was broken when Lauren Pollock came home on the front-end of a double-steal.
“Hitting is contagious. You just need one person to start it off, put the ball in play and go from there,” said Potomac Falls coach Ben Mertell, who saw seven of his batters collect a base knock or two.
“The girls rallied, and I’m proud of them for rallying.”
Leadoff hitter Grace Wild scored twice on two hits and a walk. Pollock doubled twice, while Vanessa Swall singled twice. Sarah McBride produced two hits from the lineup’s no. 9 spot.
For the Huskies, Claire Berg drilled a line-shot double in the second, driving in two to tie the game 2-2. Later, Jena Calvitti tripled to deep left-center, scoring the go-ahead run on a groundout.
Tuscarora centerfielder Michala Pellegrino turned in the game’s top defensive play with a diving catch of a sinking looper in the sixth.
Potomac Falls’ Mary Sullivan is one of a two-freshman rotation, along with Heather Pochet, whom Mertell is using in the pitcher’s circle. She ended her complete-game effort with a beautiful slow changeup right down the middle, stranding the bases loaded – and the potential go-ahead run at the dish – with her first and only strikeout of the evening.
Girls’ soccer: Tuscarora 2, Potomac Falls 0
A scoreless tie at the half was broken seven minutes into the second, when Madison Phaneuf looped a 20-yard free kick over Potomac Falls keeper Sydney Sherman and into the back of the net.
The pretty right-footed delivery came on Phaneuf’s second attempt at the kick. Her first go, which sailed high, was whistled back due to a wall infraction against the Panthers.
Later, in the 67th minute, Husky freshman Dacheka Kolcum proved that two headers are better than one. Parked in front of the Potomac Falls net, the 6-footer headed it once, saw it bounce off the crossbar and headed the ricochet straight back into the net.
“We were in a more defensive position in the first half,” Panthers coach Nicole Brower said. “We came out attacking in the second half, and that’s more our style.”
Courtenay Kaplan picked up the shutout, stopping nine shots on frame. The Huskies peppered Sherman with 19 shots, most during the second half.
JV girls’ soccer: Potomac Falls 1, Tuscarora 0
Gabby Darling put it in during the 25th minute, assisted by Brooke Van den Berg. That held up as keeper Saloni Mittal kept a clean sheet in the Panthers’ victory.
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Written by Jason S Rufner
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