Blair's playoff run halted by 6-4 loss
MAY 13, BLAZER STADIUM--
For seven of Blair's starters, this was the beginning of the last run at the county championship. The team entered the game confidently but was outlasted by Springbrook High School, 6-4, a disappointing ending to Blair's best softball season in recent memory.
The Blazers entered the playoffs in the second round after drawing the third seed and a first-round bye. Blair had just won its first regular-season division title in school history, finishing 5-1 in its division and 9-4 overall.
The team's success owed largely to its enormous amount of experience. Co-captains Carly Vieira and Emma Simson have been playing softball together since third grade, and Blair's seniors have been playing as a unit since their freshman year.
Power from Vieira, Simson and Washington Post player of the week senior Lily Hamburger also helped the Blazers early in the year as they racked up wins with scores like 14-0 and 16-4. However, midseason Blair went into a serious slump, scoring only two runs in a three-game stretch against top county competition. Simson also began to struggle during this period.
However, the Blazers managed to pull through the hard times, finding their stroke and beating Churchill High School 13-3 two days after suffering a shutout loss to Gaithersburg High School and winning their final regular season game May 6 over Paint Branch High School, 4-0.
Blair's defense was relatively consistent, with outstanding performances all season from Hamburger, Simson, Vieira and first baseman senior co-captain Sophie Strike. However, errors at key moments in the field cost the Blazers dearly in losses to Gaithersburg and Watkins Mill high schools, killing momentum on the diamond and at the plate.
Tonight's game seemed to be a microcosm of the season. The Blazers came out strong, scoring two runs in the first inning off triples by Vieira and Simson and Simson started the game pitching very well. Then, Blair went through a dry spell at the plate, going four innings without another run and getting only three batters to the plate in three of those innings. Meanwhile, a key error at the plate and 11 walks by Simson hurt the team in the middle of the game. Then, in the final two innings Blair's bats returned, as did Simson's control.
Coach Louis Hoelman was as disappointed as his team, but like the Blazers themselves he took a positive outlook on the season. "It's been great working with these kids," he said. "I'm really proud of how far they've come."
Luke Bostian. Luke Bostian is a senior in CAP and has nothing much to say for himself. Well, actually, that's a lie. Luke has a lot to say for himself and says it all the time. So he won't bore you with it. Suffice it to say … More »