The Herndon High girls' softball team, under the direction of head coach Jourdan Coombs, has played with a freshness and vibrancy which has resulted in numerous wins this spring season. Despite having an overall inexperienced and young varsity roster made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores, the Hornets have proven to be a handful for their opponents to handle on way to winning seven of their first 11 games thus far, going into this week's action.
"The team may be a small, young group, but the determination and character are what makes us stand out," said Coombs, in his first season as the Hornets' head coach. "This is a new program, and a new outlook to softball and what our goals are. We work hard, and we play hard."
"The season is going well, despite having a new coach and trying to turn the program around," said Coombs. "The girls are willing to work hard for what they want and it shows in their games and practices."
Over the recent spring break week (April 2-6), Herndon played six games locally at the Northern Virginia Spring Break Tournament. There, the Hornets went 4-2 and had an overall solid, positive showing.
Herndon, going into the spring break week, held a 2-1 record, not including the team's pre-season exhibition wins over Annandale, 3-1, and cross-town rival South Lakes, 8-4, on March 7 and 8, respectively.
In the Hornets' official season opener on March 13, they won a high-scoring affair over local rival and guest Park View High, 11-9. The Patriots are members of the Dulles District.
Three days later, in another home game, Herndon had a tough outing in a 19-4 loss to Stone Bridge High of the Liberty District.
But Herndon, which competes in the Concorde District, came right back from that setback to the Bulldogs with an impressive home win over Washington-Lee High (National District) of Arlington three days later on April 19.
That win over the Generals put Herndon's official record (not including the exhibition games) at 2-1 and gave the Hornets good momentum going into spring break week.
OVER THE SPRING BREAK week, Herndon, in the Northern Virginia Tournament hosted by Hayfield High School, won games over Marshall, Edison, Hayfield, and West Springfield. The losses came to South County and Jefferson Forest High, a team from out of the area and a member of Region III in Virginia.
Following the full schedule of games over spring break, Herndon opened up its Concorde District schedule last Tuesday, April 10 with a home game versus the Oakton Cougars. Herndon lost the contest, 8-2. However, the Hornets came back two days later and defeated Woodson (Patriot District), 10-0, in a non-district road game. That victory over the Cavaliers improved Herndon's overall record on the spring to 7-4.
COACH COOMBS, who was at the helm of the Herndon High girls' JV field hockey team last year, was named the new varsity softball coach last December. Over the course of the spring season he has been pleased with his players' attitudes and their overall production on the field.
Herndon's lineup consists of power hitters, such as junior Heather Ferguson, sophomores Sarah Kurtz and Mary Dugan, and freshmen Melanie Martire and Ashley Scnharrs. On the mound, the Hornets have received stellar outings from senior Michelle Le.
The coach has stressed team chemistry, hard work, and a good mindset to games and the season as a whole.
"Our goals for this season would be to have a better attitude and perspective when it comes to this new growing program," he said. "Also, we want to win district games and make it into the regional tournament. We have a lot of work to do, but I am confident our team has what it takes to succeed."
Herndon was scheduled to play district home games this week against Chantilly (Tuesday, April 17) and Westfield (Friday, April 20). Friday's night game against defending district and Northern Region champion Westfield is scheduled for 6:30.