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Woodson's Season Ends in Regional Quarterfinals

Cavaliers tally nine hits but lose game amidst flurry of strikeouts.

The Woodson softball team had ample opportunities to bury Westfield early in a regional quarterfinal matchup on Monday, May 30 at Falls Church High School.

Woodson pounded eight hits in the first three innings, but produced just two runs. The Cavaliers' inability to come up with enough hits with runners in scoring position cost the team a chance to advance to the semifinals and ended their season during a 4-2 loss to Westfield.

Woodson had no trouble putting the ball in play early against Westfield sophomore pitcher Keona Gaines. But each time Gaines got in trouble, she found ways to get strikeouts and strand Cavalier baserunners. Gaines scattered nine hits over seven innings and struck out 11.

"She got us when she needed to," Woodson head coach Robert Coleman said. "We were putting it in play and then she came up with the big pitch when she needed to. She did a great job."

In the first inning, the first three Cavalier batters reached base, but Woodson managed just one run as Gaines struck out the next three hitters.

Woodson sent four batters to the plate in the second inning and came away with three hits and a sacrifice bunt, but failed to score due to a pair of baserunning blunders.

The Cavaliers opened the third inning with three consecutive hits, but again managed just one run as Gaines struck out the next three batters.

Woodson finished with nine hits. Courtney Purtell, Eliana Budoff and Shannon McCloud each had two hits for the Cavaliers. Kelsey Schwartzbach, Marissa Lynch and KJ Johnson each had one. Purtell had a double and Johnson produced an RBI.

I was "just trying to hit my spots," Gaines said. "A strikeout would be nice, but [I was] really just trying to hit my spots and focus in."

While Woodson fell short against Westfield, Coleman said the Cavaliers accomplished "more than I ever thought we would. It was the best season we've had at Woodson in 12 years. I couldn't be more proud of them."

Woodson finished 17-4, went undefeated at home and finished atop the Patriot District standings in the regular season. Coleman said the team's three seniors — pitcher Naomi Kennedy, catcher McCloud and center fielder Johnson — were the key to Woodson's success this season.

"The three seniors made the team: KJ Johnson, Shannon McCloud and Naomi Kennedy. They took the group, molded them, carried them on their back the whole season. Without those three, we would have been lost."

McCloud said she is proud of the team's accomplishments.

"We didn't even know what we were going to have coming into this year since we lost so many starters last year," the catcher said. "Coming into this year, we were able to bring each other together and have one of the beast years yet. It was amazing to watch. Everybody improved."