Warner and Richlands softball

Senator Mark Warner and the RHS softball team. Emily Ball

RICHLANDS, Va. — Richlands’ Lady Blues softball team isn’t likely to need any incentive to defend its state title but U.S. Senator Mark Warner tried to deliver one Aug. 28.

“I will make the promise on television that if they win again I will come back and bring something better than a flag that flew over the capital,” Warner said after making that presentation.

Warner spent a few minutes talking with the girls before giving the flag to RHS Principal Kim Ringstaff. Warner made the promise to the team shortly before repeating it in an interview with WVVA. He also presented the team a resolution honoring their state championship and accepted a hat and T-shirt from Coach Ronnie Davis.

“It is a memory that will stay with you a lifetime,” Warner said of the state championship.

He told ace pitcher Mackenzie Osborne that pitching Virginia Tech to a national championship might be the only way she could top winning a state title in high school. Osborne committed to Virginia Tech shortly after the state championship game.

The team had just one senior and they told Warner they are working hard during the off season in hopes of repeating.

“It is a great accomplishment and you should be very proud of it,” he said.

Richlands captured the crown with a 1-0 win over Madison County. The Tornado had been state runner up in the two seasons prior to last year. They will open defense of the title in April 2020. Many of the girls are playing volleyball this fall and will hit the basketball court in the winter.

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