Yorktown junior Charlotte Batdorf prepared for her fifth-inning at-bat on Monday with a practice swing in the on-deck circle near the first-base dugout at Falls Church. A routine exercise, Batdorf turned the mundane warm-up into a moment of humor when she cracked her right elbow with her backswing.
A painful mishap, Batdorf was able to laugh at the self-inflicted abuse due in part to the damage her bat — and right arm — dealt the Jaguars.
Batdorf, starting in the circle for the first time this season, pitched a one-hit shutout, went 6 for 6 with seven RBIs at the plate and the Yorktown softball team defeated Falls Church 27-0 in five innings. Batdorf, a first-team all-National District selection last season, missed time early in the 2011 campaign due to a left wrist injury. She's now back as a force in the middle of the Patriots lineup, and made the most of her first start in the circle.
When healthy, Batdorf is the Patriots' starting first baseman and No. 2 pitcher behind ace Kate Bauman, also a first-team all-district selection last year. Batdorf and Bauman are the top returning athletes in a Yorktown program that had its streak of three consecutive district championships snapped last season by newcomer Hayfield. Monday's win improved the Patriots' record to 9-1, including a 7-1 mark in the district. Yorktown's only blemish was a 5-3 loss to Hayfield on April 15.
"We've been dreaming about playing Hayfield since last year," Batdorf said. "We played them [this year] and lost, so now we're looking to use other games to get better so we can beat Hayfield next time."
In the circle against Falls Church, Batdorf threw 47 of 72 pitches for strikes during a five-inning shutout. She walked two, struck out nine and allowed a second-inning single. At the plate, she got Yorktown on the board with a two-run double in the first. She added a pair of RBI singles in the second, a two-run double in the third, a run-scoring single in the fourth and an infield RBI single in the fifth.
"You know you can always count on Charlotte; she's going to give 100 percent," head coach Julie Fetter said. "She's quite the well-rounded student athlete."
Junior third baseman Lindsay Irving and senior shortstop Kelly John are also key returners for a team that graduated seven seniors and lost a pair of freshman standouts, one to injury and one to transfer. John and senior Kiersten Rolla are team captains.
"Even though [John's] not the best hitter, the best this or the best that, the team sort of lives and dies by her," assistant coach Deb Litman said. "She's our leadoff. If she gets on, we usually score in the first inning. If she makes a good play, if she's up, the team is up. She's one of our captains and she acts like it."
Yorktown will host Stuart at 5:45 p.m. on April 27 and Wakefield at 6 p.m. on April 29. The following week, the Patriots will have home games against Washington-Lee (May 5) and private school power Bishop O'Connell (May 7) sandwiched around a May 6 road rematch with Hayfield.
"We didn't just finish runner-up [to Hayfield in the district last year], it was by one run in the championship" game, Litman said of Yorktown's 3-2 loss. "... It's been eating at us the entire offseason."