In three consecutive at-bats over two games against her school’s two intra-city rivals, the Stone Bridge junior catcher had smacked three towering home runs, standing out in a round robin event loaded with All-Met-caliber talent.
Stone Bridge’s Olivia Tatara Battle of Ashburn softball tournament
In the bottom of the seventh inning against Broad Run, Tatara came up with the score tied, the bases loaded, two out, and a chance to complete her once-in-lifetime day at the plate.
“I swung at two bad pitches and my coach told me to just have fun,” Tatara said. “I just went back up there and did what I could.”
Tatara hit a ground ball to deep short, and she beat the throw for a walk-off infield single that gave No. 4 Stone Bridge a 6-5 win over No. 6 Broad Run in the most dramatic of the three games at the Battle of Ashburn Round Robin Softball Tournament at Briar Woods.
No. 7 Briar Woods beat Stone Bridge, 7-3, in the first game of the day, and the Falcons beat Broad Run, 8-3, in the third game to win the inaugural event, but Tatara’s hitting provided the tournament’s most captivating moments.
“She had a day,” Stone Bridge Coach Billy Rice said. “She’s been down a little bit this year, but we’ve been working with her really hard and she just unleashed it today.”
Tatara’s first two home runs came late in the first game off of Briar Woods’s All-Met senior pitcher Macy Jones, but could not spark a comeback after the Falcons had jumped to an early 6-0 lead.
Briar Woods scored five runs in the third inning, and Jones struck out 12 in a complete game win, allowing just a bunt single, the two home runs to Tatara and a solo home run to Stone Bridge All-Met junior centerfielder Sydney Broderick.
Tatara’s third home run helped Stone Bridge build a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the next game against Broad Run, but the Spartans rallied with a three-run home run by junior centerfielder McKall Miller, and the game remained tied at 5-5 from the fourth inning until Tatara’s game-winning RBI.
In the last game, Jones went 2-for-3 with two walks and a solo home run against Broad Run, leading a 17-hit Briar Woods attack.
The three Ashburn-based teams play in three different districts, and organizers hope this will become an annual event.