McLean High hosted varsity softball and girls lacrosse games on April 23, and in both games the home Highlanders rallied for narrow victories.
The softball team came back from three runs down to defeat rival George C. Marshall 4-3 for their tenth consecutive win. The Highlanders are 12-1 on the year.
McLean’s star pitcher Jamie Bell ran into some trouble early, giving up three solo home runs, but the junior rebounded with what coach Maurice Tawil called “a gutsy performance.”
“The chips were down after giving up three solo shots,” Tawil said. “If you’re going to give up home runs, we want them with no one on base. She regrouped and slammed the door. That’s a big statement from her.”
Being down is not a common occurrence for McLean, but Tawil reminded his squad that in all of their victories this year, they haven’t scored fewer than four runs. Still, McLean catcher Carolyn Gilbertson felt added tension when the Highlanders were down early.
“It was nerve-wracking,” said Gilbertson, who finished two-for-three with an RBI. “I had a feeling we were going to come back. That’s the way we are.”
The victory against Marshall was a bit of a payback. The Statesmen defeated McLean 4-1 in last year’s Liberty District semifinals.
Bell helped her own cause on Friday, going two-for-three.
“We definitely needed this,” she said. “It was a reality check.”
The Highlanders welcome Bishop O’Connell on April 29.
McLean’s girls lacrosse team defeated Fairfax 13-12 after a remarkable rally. Down 11-3 early in the second half, McLean went on a 9-1 run to close out the game.
The victory came on senior night, and the team was without a top attacker and defender.
“I think the girls were a little distracted at first,” said McLean head coach Anne Inzerello. “I think everyone was a little off-kilter at the beginning.”
At halftime, Inzerello stressed that her team should be more aggressive on draws, ground balls and in attacking the net.
“What really made the difference was: At half-time we talked about how badly we wanted it,” said Inzerello. “The girls wanted to prove something on the field tonight.”
Junior Marielena Planas led the team with five goals, the most in her career.