The spring athletics season is coming to a close and teams are gearing up for a playoff run. The following are teams in the area to watch as they battle for a shot at a title.
Matoaca softball is enjoying an outstanding season, currently in first place in the Central District. The Warriors hope to improve on last year’s Central District tournament exit and make it back to the region.
Pitcher Jessica McCabe has been a star for the Warriors as the junior has pitched to a 12-4 record, striking out 146 batters in 89 innings and notching a 1.34 earned run average. At the plate, she leads the Warriors with a .491 batting average with a home run and 20 runs batted in.
Matoaca has tossed three no-hitters and a perfect game this season. McCabe has thrown two no-hitters and a perfect game while Rebecca Elder threw a no-hitter in her first start against Hopewell last Thursday.
The Matoaca outfield has provided plenty of offensive and defensive sparks, led by center fielder Morgan Kiefer who is hitting .429 with a home run and 12 RBIs. Left fielder Allie Fitzke (.400 avg) and right fielder Pauline Bigelow (.359 avg) have also been key contributors.
On the other diamond, the Matoaca baseball team has come on strong after a slow start to their season.
Staff ace Rick Spiers leads the charge, and senior center fielder Brandon Traylor continues to hit the ball well as the Warriors have surged to a 10-2 Central District record, currently good for second place behind Prince George.
Matoaca boys’ tennis will travel to the defending state champions Cosby for the first round of regional action May 20. Led by No. 1 seed Austin Powers (15-6 this season) and No. 2 seed Brandon Harper, (11-5 this season) Matoaca will look to knock off Cosby. In the singles tournament, Powers was the Central District runner-up.
For Thomas Dale, several teams are gunning for district titles and beyond.
The Dale baseball team currently sits in third place with a 9-3 Central District record, a game up on Dinwiddie. Dale is led by a staunch pitching staff headed by sophomore Tommy Barron and Junior Collin Fleischer.
Thomas Dale softball is currently in 4th place and would qualify for the Central District tournament. The Knights are led by a mix of youth and experience including sophomore pitcher Jordan Starke, senior second baseman Taylor Desmond and freshman catcher Rayana Hill.
Thomas Dale tennis, with a victory in a tiebreaker for the top seed in the region will host Midlothian on May 20. Led by All-Central District and All-Academic honorees R.D. Nixon (No. 1 seed) and Philip Crouch (No. 2 seed), the Knights will look to make a deep postseason run.
Thomas Dale boys’ soccer has locked up another Central District championship and looks to continue their outstanding postseason play. Led by Grayson Smith, the balanced and powerful Knights have also received a boost from gridiron standout Marco Carrabotta. Dale lost in the state semis last year will look to exceed that mark this postseason.
Thomas Dale girls’ soccer has also enjoyed a great season as they aim to lock up a district title. The girls are 11-3 overall and 10-1 in the Central District. Senior Regan Flores, one of the top scorers in the Central Region leads the charge for the Knights.
Meadowbrook soccer has been a bright spot in spring for the Monarchs. Gunning for a best-in-school history second place finish in the district and an upset of Dale in the postseason, the Monarchs hope to qualify for the region. The Monarchs are led by their dynamic midfield combo of sophomore Yafet Teklemikael and senior Franky Alvarado.
Bird baseball is in contention to qualify for the Dominion District tournament led by MLB draft hopeful Bryce Harman and catcher Austin Gammon. Bird has played tough in a competitive district featuring region contenders James River and Cosby.
*Stats/records as of press time and at last updates received by the Village News.