A major demolition of Cave Spring High School is readily evident in Southwest Roanoke County.
Thursday afternoon at the adjacent Fuzzy Minnix Field, the Cave Spring softball team completed a knock down of their own.
Riding the arm of standout pitcher Abby Weaver, the Knights jumped out to a 9-0 lead after five innings before rolling to the 12-2 win over the Christiansburg Blue Demons in the Region 3D quarterfinals.
Weaver had a no-hitter intact until two were out in the Christiansburg sixth when two consecutive Blue Demon hitters ended not only the no-no bid, but the shutout as well.
Christiansburg leadoff batter Baylee Reasor ruined the no-hitter with a towering double to right-center, and Blue Demon shortstop Harley Dove followed with a clean single to plate Reasor. Christiansburg would add a second run moments later on a Cave Spring throwing error, but the damage was long done by the Cave Spring offense to change the final outcome.
“It’s OK,” Weaver noted with a big smile after the win on losing the no-no. “I was comfortable out there today. My main focus was to throw strikes and my ball spin. On the double, I just missed my spot.”
Weaver got things going for the Knights in the bottom of the first when she singled to left and advanced to second on a bobble in the outfield. Knight catcher Mikayla Ray, who went 4-for-5 on the day, singled to center that enabled Weaver to score when the throw to the plate sailed high to the backstop.
Cave Spring added three runs in the third after an unusual start to their half of the inning. Taylor Loving, who went 3-for-5, opened with a single and Weaver followed with a sharp drive to left that Blue Demon left fielder Madelynn Evans corralled on the run and threw to first to double up the retreating Loving.
But, the Knights responded with singles by Ray and Logan Scott before Alexa Maronic dropped a double right at the line at the left field foul pole for the second Cave Spring score. Taylor Smithson kept things going with a RBI single to center that scored two.
The Knights added two more in the fourth to go up 6-0, and made it 9-0 in the fifth after Rachel Riley got the carousel going with a walk and Sierra Cox was hit by a pitch. Loving, Weaver and Ray followed with singles and with Weaver in the circle, the handwriting was on the wall.
After Christiansburg broke the goose egg in the sixth, Cave Spring added three more in the bottom half, highlighted by a single from Emma Field and a double off the top of the wall in center by Loving that narrowly missed leaving the yard.
“We gave them extra bases all day long,” Christiansburg head coach Nate O’Dell, a Cave Spring graduate himself, noted afterward. “You can’t do that with Cave Spring. Our starter, Madi Thompson, battled the whole way. This was the first winning season for Christiansburg softball since 2012. We have a bunch of young players and the future looks good.”
Cave Spring advances to play Lord Botetourt and their talented pitcher Meredith Wells next Tuesday at Tunstall High School with a state quarterfinal bid on the line.
“We lost to Botetourt by one run both times we played them this season,” Cave Spring head coach Nick Sharp pointed out. “We’ve got to play better defense and eliminate mistakes. I’ve been preaching that all year. At this point, every team you face is good.”
“Lord Botetourt can hit,” Weaver echoed. “I’ll have to focus on every pitch.”