It wasn’t the type of start the Langley Saxons were accustom to during their recent championship run of strong and stingy play.
The Cosby Titans took an early 1-0 lead as a results of some walks resulting from disputed illegal pitches en route to a 7-1 victory over the Saxons on June 13 in a semifinal girls softball game of the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tournament at RF&P Park near Richmond.
The loss ended a nine-game winning streak for Langley and its season and strong playoff run. The Saxons won district and region tournaments prior to the state competition. The region title was Langley’s first since 1992, the same season the Saxons won their only state crown.
Langley finished with a 21-6 overall record that included a 7-1 postseason mark. The Saxons were 1-1 in the state tourney.
“It was a great season and great ride. The journey was great,” Langley coach Mike Sharkey said. “We lost to a good team in Cosby. Getting that far, we feel we brought Langley softball back.”
Cosby, which had 11 hits, scored a run each in the second, third and fifth innings and four in the seventh.
Langley had just four hits, one a solo homer by Kylie Allen, and made two errors.
Stingy pitching and defense and timely hitting had been Langley’s formula for winning until the loss to Cosby.
“We couldn’t get the offense going, and you need to score runs,” Sharkey said. “We had our chances, but couldn’t get the runs across.”
Langely left the bases loaded one inning.
Senior right-hander Megan Anderson pitched a complete game for Langley with seven strikeouts.
Playing in the state semifinal was unique for Langley, because the eight seniors on the team graduated June 3 and were finished with school. Yet because of multiple wet-weather postponements, the state softball semifinals and finals were pushed back a week until June 13 and 14, originally scheduled June 7 and 8.
As a result, some of the Langley seniors either cancelled or attended beach-week vacations, while others adjusted work schedules so the team could keep practicing. Some underclassmen couldn’t attend all the practices because they were preparing for final exams.
“It was a unique situation and frustrating and disappointing not to play that first weekend,” Sharkey said. “The seniors were finished with school, but we kept practicing, the players were great and they were ready to play and remained motivated and refocused.”
The team was in the Richmond area for the original June 7 semifinal, spending a night in a motel on June 6.
“We were there two days and we were eager and ready to play,” Sharkey said. “When we couldn’t, it was quiet on that bus ride home.”
Langley returned to Richmond June 12 for an overnight stay in preparation for the June 13 semifinals, only to face another change. The initial site of that rescheduled semifinal was changed from Deep Run High School to RF&P Park because of wet fields.
Langley defeated Lake Braddock, 2-0, on its home field in a first-round state-tournament game June 4 as Anderson threw a two-hitter with five strikeouts.