Whether it was nerves or just bad timing, the Mathews High School varsity softball team played its worst game of the squad’s 25-game season on Friday morning in the Group A, Division II state semifinals against Virginia High, falling to the Bearcats from Bristol, 4-0.
This was just the second loss of the season for the Lady Devils, whose only other defeat came in a 14-inning thriller against the AAA Gloucester Dukes.
In Friday morning’s game, which was held at Veterans Field on the campus of Radford University, Mathews started out strong on defense, with pitcher Lindsay Crigler finding the strike zone and her defense making plays behind her.
However, as well as the defense played early on, Mathews could not put any kind of offense together as Bearcat pitcher Megan Thompson stymied the Blue Devils throughout the batting order. She recorded 14 strikeouts, holding the Devils to just three hits.
In the top of the fourth inning Virginia High adjusted to Crigler’s pitching and started hitting the ball harder, forcing the Devils to make better plays. Mathews played almost errorless defense throughout the season, but on Friday the team made four errors that led to three runs for the team from Bristol.