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Commending consistent winners

The season ended last week for a trio of area teams that have been outstanding on the diamond for several years.

Starting at the college level, we would like to highlight Longwood University’s softball team. The Lancers went 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament this year, facing elite opponents in the form of host and nationally No. 12-ranked University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina.

Nevertheless, these games could not overshadow what was another banner year for Longwood. The Lancers finished the season with an overall record of 37-22, winning their fifth Big South Tournament championship in the last seven years and their third Big South regular season title in the last five years. The campaign serves as evidence that Head Coach Kathy Riley has built a bonafide collegiate dynasty.

At the high school level, Fuqua School has achieved outstanding success with both its varsity softball and baseball teams over the last several seasons.

The Lady Falcons were loaded with eight seniors this year who were out to defend the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division III state championship that they and their teammates had won last year in dominant fashion. They came up short in that title defense effort, falling 3-2 Friday in the state final, but this did nothing to negate the remarkable success the team has achieved since 2017.

Across the last three years, the Lady Falcons have produced a combined record of 45-15, and they ended each year by playing in the VISAA Division III state title game.

The Falcons baseball squad has also been a perennial state title contender since 2017, reaching the VISAA Division III state final in two out of the last three years.

This season, the Falcons fell 10-8 in the state semifinals to eventual state champion and No. 1 seed Walsingham Academy. Despite the loss, they finished with their best record in the last three years, going 14-5. Combined with the 2018 and 2017 seasons, the Falcons went 38-16.

We commend the Lancers, Lady Falcons and Falcons for their dedication and hard work that has led to remarkable consistency across multiple seasons on the diamond, and we look forward to more winning campaigns to come.