Count­ing down the top five sports sto­ries of 2016

In the his­tory books

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - AJ MA­SON

Be­hind a strong bat­ting lineup and solid pitch­ing on the rub­ber from then-se­nior Alyssa Bilodeau, the La Plata War­riors soft­ball team capped off their spring sea­son last May with the pro­gram’s first-ever state cham- pi­o­nship af­ter a 9-1 victor y over Ca­toctin of Fred­er­ick County in the Class 2A fi­nal at the Uni- ver­sity of Mary­land’s Robert E. Tay­lor Sta­dium.

The War­riors, who fin­ished the sea­son 17-6, were spear- headed by sopho­more Devin Ru­ble, who crushed a pair of dou­bles and drove in four runs en route to the state fi­nal win.

Ru­ble drilled an of­fer­ing from Ca­toctin starter Jessica Bryant for a two-run dou­ble to put the War­riors ahead, 2-0 in the bot- tom of the first and un­corked an­other two-run dou­ble to right in the third frame.

“I was think­ing ‘Just get it in play, just get it in play. If you could get it in play, that would be great but if you could go to right field that would be even bet­ter,’” said Ru­ble. “So I just tried to stay back be­cause I have a ten­dency to pull [pitches] foul for some rea­son.”

“We worked re­ally hard to get here and I’m re­ally proud of how we played to­day,” La Plata se­nior short­stop Andie Kline said af­ter the game. “We played as a team and I couldn’t be any hap­pier.”

“I’m glad the se­niors got to do this in their last year and I’m glad I got to ex­pe­ri­ence it with them,” said La Plata fresh­man in­fielder Kelsey Hanks, re­fer­ring to se­niors Kline, Erica Cox, Ash­lee Roberts and Bilodeau. “I feel re­ally good, and my team is re­ally ex­cited.”

“It’s crazy, it’s just awe­some,” La Plata sopho­more cen­ter fielder Han­nah Kraft said. “I don’t know what to say.”

La Plata’s 1-2-3 hit­ters Han­nah Kraft, Cox and Ru­ble were a com­bined 5 for 8 with five RBIs, three walks and eight runs scored.

“It’s crazy, it’s just awe­some,” Kraft said. “I don’t know what to say.”

The right-han­der Bilodeau, now a fresh­man at Divi­sion I’s Jack­sonville Univer­sity who was named SMAC Most Out­stand­ing Player and All-County Ath­lete of the Year, re­tired 20 of the 26 bat- ters she faced, in­clud­ing the first eight of the game. She sur­ren­dered four hits, three of them sin­gles, walked one and also struck out five.

“We didn’t know much about this team at all, which is a good thing be­cause you don’t want to over­think ev­ery­thing,” Bilodeau said. “I just tried to keep them on their toes and off the plate and def­i­nitely not in the middle.”

La Plata won the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi­sion cham­pi­onship with 10-1 mark and knocked off South­ern of Anne Arun­del County 6-2 in the 2A South Re­gion fi­nal for the pro­gram’s first re­gion ti­tle since 1997. The War­riors ad­vanced to the state fi­nal with a 3-2, eight-in­ning win over Eastern Tech of Bal­ti­more County.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

The La Plata War­riors cel­e­brated their first-ever state cham­pi­onship in pro­gram his­tory last May af­ter a 9-1 victory over Ca­toctin in the Class 2A fi­nal at Univer­sity of Mary­land’s soft­ball com­plex in Col­lege Park.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata grad­u­ate Alyssa Bilodeau, now a fresh­man at Jack­sonville Univer­sity, help lead the War­riors to their first-ever Class 2A state cham­pi­onship last May with a 9-1 win over Ca­toctin at Univer­sity of Mary­land’s soft­ball com­plex in Col­lege Park. Bilodeau struck out five bat­ters and re­tired 20 of the 26 bat­ters that she faced in the ti­tle game.

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