By Darrian Pickett
Viva Loudoun College Intern
Leesburg (May 30, 2014) – On May 28, both the Tuscarora High School baseball and softball teams played in a Conference 14 consolation game against Broad Run: games they won to earn the final spot in both the VHSL 5A North region baseball and softball tournaments.
Coaches and players from both teams shared a common response in that their hard work and dedication is finally paying off.
Tuscarora softball coach Megan Smith noted that her team’s persistence is one of their admirable characteristics.
“We got off to a great start this season, then we hit a rough patch. The girls could have let that break the team and the drive to reach a goal but instead, they got back on track, dug deep and finished the regular season on a good note. Their tenacity is what I admire most about our team,” Smith said.
The Huskies’ sophomore pitcher Jena Calvitti pitched a shutout in Tuscarora’s, 10-0, win over Broad Run.
“I have so much trust in myself and my team. If we play our game, it’s going to be a great regional tournament,” Calvitti said.
Even after securing a spot in the region tournament for the first time in school history, senior third baseman Alex Lang knows it will not be an easy road.
“Nothing is going to come free to us, and it is going to take a full team effort. Everybody needs to come focused and ready to play every game,” Lang said.
The Husky softball team plays in the VHSL 5A North region quarterfinals against Mount Vernon on Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m.
The Tuscarora baseball team had a much more exciting finish in their Conference 14 consolation game as the Huskies and Broad Run Spartans played a nine inning game that resulted in a 2-1 win for Tuscarora.
Like the softball team, the win secured a spot in the VHSL 5A North region tournament for the Huskies’ baseball program.
“Seeing these ten seniors who all but two, started on the first ever JV team and really took their lumps that first year and to see how far they have come, how much hard work they have put in to get to their senior year and to reach the goals we set early in the season,” Tuscarora head coach Mark Bauer said. “Right now the boys believe they can play with anybody and that’s important.”
Underclass members of the varsity team stood out in the consolation game.
Sophomore Noah Lacey had a big influence on the game with the eventual game winning RBI to put the Huskies up by one-run in the ninth inning.
“After the hit, I didn’t think it would be enough to score the run because it bounced right to the shortstop. After the game, it felt great to help my team advance to region for the first time,” Lacey said.
Sophomore pitcher Cole Gabriele had a big night as well. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning Gabriele was able to keep the Spartans from scoring.
“When I got the strikeout to end the inning the fans and my teammates went crazy! It was a great feeling knowing that I stopped them from scoring,” Gabriele said.
Senior first basemen Drake Etheridge is excited for what the team could accomplish in the region tournament.
“It means a lot to be able to see how far we have come as a program and seeing all of our hard work pay off,” Etheridge said.
The Husky baseball team plays in the VHSL 5A North region quarterfinals against Thomas Edison on Friday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Darrian Pickett is a graduate of Tuscarora High School where she was a standout athlete and she will be the sports editor and managing editor for the student publication at the UVA-Wise next year.