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    Bulldogs ride early outburst to defeat Spartans

    Stone Bridge junior Olivia Sappington hauls in a line drive to left field April 17. Sappington delivered three hits - including a home run - to help the host Bulldogs prevail 5-1 against the Spartans.—Times Photo/Rick Wasser
    Five runs in the first inning was all the Stone Bridge Bulldogs needed to take a 6-1 softball victory from visiting neighborhood rival Broad Run in a Group 5A Conference 14 matchup April 17 in Ashburn.

    In the circle for the Bulldogs (6-3), right-hander Jessica Osborne kept the Spartans (5-2) off-balance using a repertoire of speeds. The sophomore permitted two hard-hit balls - doubles by Grace Mattimore and Lauren Mizelle - but nothing else loud.

    "If she can locate her off-speed pitches, she's difficult to hit," Stone Bridge head coach Billy Rice said. "They think the quicker stuff is coming and she changes it up on them ... I love that."

    After surrendering four hits and two walks in the opening stanza, and a line-drive home run to right by off Olivia Sappington's lefty bat in the second frame, Broad Run's senior left-hander Rebecca Tatara settled down to keep the Bulldogs off the board thereafter.

    But her teammates could only muster an RBI groundout by Casey Kramer in the final inning.

    Sappington poked three hits on the Bulldogs' behalf, while Osborne helped herself with a double and a single.

    Broad Run hosted a doubleheader April 18 and will next play host to Freedom on April 21 in a Conference 14 game. Conference play continues also for Stone Bridge, who travels just a few miles to play at Briar Woods on April 21.

    Note: See our next print edition April 22 and online at for a story examining the unity of support displayed by the Broad Run High School community and beyond, in the aftermath of the sudden death April 7 of star softball player and well-liked student Madison Small.

    -Pics by Rick Wasser

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