Lang shinesPublished 12:52am Thursday, June 26, 2014
WASHINGTON — Rising sophomore Rachel Lang is quickly earning the respect of all opposing lineups — high school, travel and recreation — as the Washington 14U All-Star softball team continues to be one of the most formidable in the county.
On Wednesday, head coach Brad Horton and Washington picked up a statement 10-0 win against East Beaufort in the Babe Ruth District 6 Softball Tournament championship game on the back of its sterling ace.
Head coach Dennis Seiler’s collection of Bath and Belhaven’s best players sent starter Savannah Slade to the mound to dampen the opposition’s explosive lineup. And Slade was able to keep the runs to a minimum early on, allowing one run in the first inning while picking up three strikeouts.
Despite reduced velocity and an uncomfortable delivery, Lang escaped the first inning allowing just two base runners, but the Washington ace would gain strength in each inning. She came back in the second, retiring the side with a groundout and two strikeouts, and powered her way through the third, despite an error at shortstop.
On offense, a walk and three consecutive singles from Destiny Blackledge, Mariah Gurkin and Meghan Moore provided Lang with another two runs of support. In the third, Horton’s squad broke the game open with three more runs off a walk and singles by Hannah Paramore, Briley Waters, Kendall Watkins and Blackledge.
With a six run lead, Lang began to pitch confidently, escaping a jam after base hits from Emori Smith and Jessica Foster with three strikeouts.
Flirting with the mercy rule, Lang helped herself in the fourth with an RBI triple that rolled to the fence. An error at third, another single by Paramore and a couple of wild pitches put another four runs on the scoreboard for Washington. With a 10-run lead, Lang needed just three outs to end the ballgame in the top of the fifth.
The Washington ace forced the first batter, Logan Jefferson, to ground out to first. Lang followed by striking out Abby Mooring and forcing another ground out to end the game.
East Beaufort’s Mackensi Seiler was the only player to reach base twice off Lang, who picked up the win, finishing with nine strikeouts, while also going 2-for-3 with two RBI at the plate.