For a third straight time, the season ended for the Potomac School Panthers girls softball team with a loss to the Bishop O’Connell Knights in the championship game of the Division I private-school state tournament.
The second-seeded Panthers (19-2) lost this year’s high-school clash, 7-2, to top-seed O’Connell in the title game at the Dinwiddie Sports Complex near Richmond.
The Panthers never led in the final and managed just three hits, two by Yanna Bravewolf and the other by Erika Castellano. Abby Rebhan had an RBI. Potomac School was hurt by three errors.
Potomac School had the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, but didn’t score. O’Connell then plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Panthers’ two runs came in the third, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Potomac School was 2-1 in the tourney, routing No. 7 seed Collegiate, 18-0, in the first round, then winning by a 13-6 final over third-seed Trinity Episcopal, 13-6 in the semifinals. The Panthers had 16 hits against Collegiate and 12 in the semifinal.
Many players had multiple hits in the two games, with Rebhan having four in one and six total, with four RBI, two doubles and a triple. Eva Butler had five hits, including a homer and a triple. Bravewolf had four hits, including a homer and a double. Alexis Vaughan had four hits and four RBI. Shelby Willcox had three hits, including double. Paige Schedler had two hits and three RBI. Also having hits were Castellano, Fae Butler, Hayley Richardson and Zora Burrell.
Bravewolf was the winning pitcher in the three-inning game against Collegiate, allowing two hits. Bravewolf worked two innings and Rebhan five in the semifinal. They combined to allow seven hits and strike out two.
Trinity Episcopal scored three runs in the top of the first, then Potomac School answered with five in the bottom of the frame.
“We were a little concerned when they got those three quick runs,” Potomac School coach Wayne Loving said. “But then we started hitting, too.”
NOTE: Overall, Potomac School’s season has ended five straight times with losses to Bishop O’Connell, twice in state-tournament semifinal games in 2017 and 2018.