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Holston baseball, softball teams have a week to remember

It was maybe one of the greatest weeks in the history of the Holston High School athletic program.
A first-time entry into the state baseball tournament, a softball region “C” Championship and a solid performance in the state track and field meet marked an outstanding couple of days for the town of Damascus.
At Press time, the Holston baseball and softball teams were playing state tournament first-round games. Look for a full report in next week's Tomahawk.
Below is a sport-by-sport report of the week's happenings.
The Holston Cavalier Baseball team finished second in Region “C” Division I and as a result earned its first trip to the Group A Division I Baseball Tournament.
The Cavaliers fell in the championship game to Parry McCluer 13-4, but that didn't seem to matter on Friday after the events of Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Holston head coach Adam Moore suffered a death in his family as his grandmother passed away. On Thursday, his grandmother and some divine intervention were with the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers were behind 9-0 to Galax on Thursday and it looked like the season was over. However, what started was an amazing 30 minutes and at the end of the time, Holston had won the game 10-9.
After the game on Friday, Moore summed just what this week had meant and the lessons the Cavaliers had learned.
“I'm very proud of the accomplishments we made this week,” Moore said. “I told the kids that no matter what scientist or mathematician comes up with coincidence any question about faith in the Lord, the lesson is that nobody can question our faith in Jesus and a prime example of that is what happened Thursday. I'm a firm believer in that and that my grandmother was a great servant here for the Lord and that she still is today. It's really special.”
Coach Moore is also happy for this group of boys who have worked so hard to reach this point.
There was a game earlier this year at Johnson County where nothing was going right for the Cavaliers, especially pitching-wise and defensively and it looked like it was going to be a lost season.
However, the Cavaliers rebounded from that 13-8 loss to the Longhorns and have had a season to remember.
“Our goal all year was to get to this point and to set ourselves up for a good seed in the regionals, which we accomplished that goal then we took the next step, which was earning our first state tournament berth. We didn't play well the middle of the season, but when we hit tournament time we found ourselves.”
This will no doubt go down as the greatest accomplishment for Holston Baseball in its history.
“This ranks up at the highest and to do what we did for our baseball program and we wanted to hoist that Region “C” Baseball trophy, but to come through what we've been through is remarkable.”
It was also a very special week for the Holston softball program as after several Region “C” Runner-up trophies in the case, the Lady Cavs finally won that elusive championship with a 2-1 victory over Bath County in Troutville Friday.
Holston came in as the underdog as Bath County pitcher Jaliyn Ford pitched a perfect game against Holston last year.
This time the Lady Cavaliers came in with a game plan as two of the state's best in Ford and Holston pitcher Morgan Lowe were battling it out.
Bath County went ahead 1-0, but the Lady Cavs didn't quit as they went on to pull out the victory.
Last night Holston played its first ever home state quarterfinal game.
“It's great to be a part of something like this,” Holston head coach Lisa Blackburn said. “It was a big win for sure.”
The game winning RBIs were hit by senior Faith Ritchie, who beat out a play at first where Brittany Boyd first scored and then Megan Honaker scored on some smart base running.
The Lady Cavs held on from there and the celebration was on in Damascus.
Holston did its homework on the James Madison commitment and was able to find a way to score two runs.
“We knew we were going to see an excellent pitcher, but we see an excellent pitcher every day in practice,” Blackburn said. “Her throwing left handed is hard to adjust to, but we were confident if we could get the ball in play it would be difficult for them.
“We had a good scouting report. Don (Lisa's husband) traveled to watch them play.”
People in Damascus are very excited about what this team has done this year.
“We're so pleased to have the support we do from this community,” Blackburn said.
Though she's just a sophomore, Holston High School track and field standout Sarah Collie is making waves on the area running scene.
A Times-News Relays qualifier, Collie has really turned some heads and has won the respect of many people involved in Holston athletics.
On Saturday, she finished ninth in the 1,600 meters and 11th in the 3,200 meters at the Group A State Track and Field meet.
Collie definitely deserved her trip to the state, mostly because she has spent hour after hour working hard.
“Sarah Collie not only never misses a mandatory practice, she works out during the mornings at 6 a.m.,” Holston head track and field coach Jeremy Weaver said. “She's a straight-A student and one of the hardest working kids I have ever coached.”
Weaver says Collie represented Holston very well in Radford on Saturday.
“This is a big deal for her,” Weaver said. “Last year she qualified in the one mile and two mile and this year her goal was to win region in both and she did. She won every race she entered this year except for the Times News Relays and in state and that is very hard to do. At the Times News Relays she finished fourth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200 and everywhere else she finished first.”
Collie has two years to complete a life-long dream of being state champion. She will do all she can to do it.
“Sarah is not even going to take a week off,” Weaver said. “She's going right back to work.”

Matt Hill can be reached via email at [email protected]