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April 30, 2015

Blazers Softball Crush Magruder Colonels

by Neida Mbuia Joao, Online Op/Ed Editor
On Monday night, Blair’s varsity softball team sailed past the Magruder Colonels to secure their spot in the county playoffs. It was a more challenging game for the Blazers as they faced one of the best pitchers they’ve seen all season. But the game was also characterized by defensive strength on the part of the Blazers, even as Magruder’s pitcher challenged our offense. Ultimately the Blazer defense was able to stave off the Magruder offense leaving them scoreless and ending the game with a final score of 2-0.

Going into the game coach Louis Hoelman recognized the challenge that the game would provide for the team. “Their pitcher’s very strong and they’re always a very good team so this is definitely a challenge for us,” Hoelman said. Possibly because of that, the team started out a little shaky. They quickly recovered though and by the end of the first inning, with the bases loaded, pitcher Karylena Cruz struck out a batter and helped keep the Colonels from scoring.
The top of the second inning further proved Cruz’s ability to throw key strikeouts when it really counts. With Magruder one base away from scoring the first run of the game, Cruz stuck out another runner to close the inning. Karylena Cruz wasn’t the only one contributing defensively though. Her sister, catcher Maria Cruz threw to third baseman Kerry Madden who tagged out a runner before she got on base. It was an unexpected play and one that the really contributed to pumping Blair up defensively.

The bottom of the second saw Blair score the first run of the game. After a walk, senior Camilla Arias stole second base. A defensive mistake on the part of Magruder left the ball rolling deep in left field and allowed Camilla to stea
l home. Blair’s next and final run came when Madden hit an RBI double that sent Junior Mildred Devereux home.
The game continued in a pattern of strong Blair defense at the top of an inning and adequate challenges to the Magruder offense at the bottom. Magruder’s offense had degraded a bit by the end of the game, most noticeably at the bottom of the fifth inning. Blair got in a lot of clutch hits that left the bases loaded and the pitcher shaky, the momentum was then stopped when the final batter struck out at the end of the inning.

The top of the seventh inning was the most exciting. With lots of crowd and bench support to cheer on the Blazer defense the team excelled. Both Cruzes were on fire throwing change ups that threw off the Magruder batters and quickly closed out the game, 2-0 Blair.

Despite the challenge posed by the game, catcher Maris Cruz is proud of the team’s win. “This was definitely one of our harder games, but we prepared for this game just like any other game. We did everything kind of really great and we game out of it really great,” Cruz said.



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