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Prep Softball Notepad: Spotsylvania battling through bumps, bruises

The 8–0 start Spotsylvania rattled off this year was exactly what coach Danny Brooks hoped for.

The bumps and bruises—both literally and figuratively—the Knights have suffered through since then, though, the coach would rather forget.

“We’re just trying to get everybody back healthy,” said Brooks, whose team beat Courtland on Tuesday to improve to 6–3 in the Battlefield District, tied for third with Caroline.

Brooks can rattle off a long list of pulls, sprains and tears suffered by his starting lineup.

Even Brooks missed a game, the first time that has happened in his 15 years at Spotsylvania’s coach.

Miscues have also hurt.

“We’re making a lot of errors and mental mistakes,” he said. “But the capability is still there.”

Spotsylvania won the Battlefield’s regular-season title last year.

Repeating the task will be difficult—Culpeper is 9–0 and has a two-game lead on Chancellor and a three-game lead on Spotsylvania and Caroline.

The Knights still have home games against King George, Culpeper and Chancellor remaining.

But as district tournament champion King George showed last year, just getting to the postseason can lead to bigger things.

“We’re shooting for the district tournament,” Brooks said. “We hit a rough spot, but the kids are starting to get healthy now.”

RACE FOR COMMONWEALTH

North Stafford put an early end to the Commonwealth District’s regular-season title chase, clinching the top spot with its win against Albemarle on Tuesday.

But the battle for the other top three spots in the district tournament is tight.

Orange has a one-game lead in second, with dates against Colonial Forge, Mountain View and Massaponax remaining.

Riverbend and Massaponax are close behind, with five losses each. The Bears and Panthers split their regular-season games.

Stafford, at 7–7, could also still climb into the top four, but the Indians would have to win their final two games (Brooke Point on May 8 and Albemarle on May 11) and get some help.

—Justin Rice

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