The current seniors on the Brooke Point softball team were freshmen in 2018 when the Black-Hawks reached the Class 5 state championship game.
Brooke Point suffered a humbling defeat to Prince George in that contest.
But after a 7-3 victory over Stafford to capture the Region 5D championship at home on Thursday, the Black-Hawks have their sights set on returning to the state title game and making amends for that loss.
Brooke Point (8-5) will now visit Freedom-South Riding on Tuesday in the state semifinals as it looks to return to the championship game for the second time in four years. The Indians (8-7) see their season come to an end.
“It feels amazing,” Brooke Point senior pitcher Cierra Foss said. “Our freshman year for the [current] seniors, we went to the state championship and we lost. It would be amazing to come out our senior year and win states.”
The Black-Hawks might have to do so without senior pitcher Noelle Sterner, who starred for the Black-Hawks in their 2018 run.
Sterner has been out the past two weeks with a back injury, but Foss and freshman Mayah Croson have filled in admirably for the Rhode Island signee.
“It just depends on her doctors and the recovery process,” Brooke Point head coach John Barton said of a potential Sterner return. “Hopefully we’ll have her back. If not, she’s here cheering on her team.”
Sterner and the Black-Hawks didn’t have much to cheer about early on. Stafford took a 3-0 lead after a two-run second inning.
Brooke Point finally got on the board on Foss’ RBI single scoring Madalyn Chambers to cut its deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Black-Hawks then used a three-run fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.
Shortstop Brooke Shelton knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice bunt. Brianna Correa later slid home to score the tying run and Chambers’ delivered the go-ahead RBI single scoring Shelton.
Shelton said the key to breaking open the game was that Brooke Point finally strung together consecutive hits.
“We rallied back in the fifth inning and we couldn’t have done it without each other,” Shelton said. “It was a team effort all-around and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Brooke Point added three more runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Foss led off the inning with her second hit of the game and Croson provided an RBI double. Correa added an RBI double and Shelton delivered an RBI triple to provide the final margin.
Foss reached base in all three of her plate appearances.
For Stafford, Alyssa Bosket had an RBI single scoring Kaylee Small in the first inning. Leighton Gary scored on a fielding error in the top of the second inning, and Emma Butler added an RBI single in the second.
Stafford head coach George Fellman said Butler and Bosket were his only two players entering the season with any varsity experience. He noted that Stafford only loses Butler and hopes to build on its run to the region title game.
Fellman said he’ll be rooting on the Black-Hawks next week.
“We had some strategy, but Brooke Point’s defense and their pitching shut us down,” Fellman said. “We had a hit here or got on base here or moved a runner here but it wasn’t enough. They locked us down. That’s a veteran and well-coached team.”
Cierra Foss, MAYAH CROSON (5) and Madalyn Chambers. Jordan Yule, SARAH BOURNE (5) and Anali Reyna.
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