The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
It’s here, postseason play, and it’s really exciting. If Harrison County teams want to keep playing they must keep winning.
This past week a pair of county softball teams earned valuable wins and are just one win away from a state tournament berth. Bridgeport and South Harrison picked up victories last Thursday in opening round regional play.
The Indians faced familiar foe Liberty for the third time this season. Both teams had won a game in the series and the rubber match would carry the most weight.
The Mountaineers would send their ace Logan Shanholtz to the bump. Shanholtz is a 14 game winner this year and did not pitch in Bridgeport’s win during the regular season.
A quick start was imperative for the Tribe as they did not want Shanholtz to find her groove. The hosts accomplished their goal by scoring six runs in the first inning.
Indian hurler Shae Tomasik was on her game early and seemed to pitch with confidence after her team provided her with the substantial cushion. Tomasik would allow two runs in the third inning and then recover to blank the Mounties through the four remaining innings. She scattered three hits, struck out 11 batters, and allowed three walks in the affair.
The Tribe pounded out 12 hits with four players recording multi-hit performances. Emily Riggs (3 for 4), Molly Layne (3 for 4), Taylor Smith (2 for 4), and Abby Strait (2 for 4) led the Indians at the plate.
Bridgeport improved to 26-4 on the year while Liberty closed out the season with a 25-6 mark.
South Harrison had an easier time of advancement with a 10-0 five inning effort over Tygarts Valley. The hawks rode the pitching of Sydney Lipscomb and utilized some timely hitting in the win. Lipscomb tossed a three hitter, striking out two hitters and allowing only one base on balls.
Offensively, South Harrison “stole the show”, finishing the game with 11 stolen bases. The Hawks provided Lipscomb with a safety net scoring five first inning runs. They would put four more on the board in the third inning and they capped off the scoring with another run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lora McDonald smacked a double for the victors; it was the lone extra base hit of the outing. Whitney James also had a hit and scored a pair of runs in the win.
On the diamond, Bridgeport and South Harrison advanced with sectional titles.
The Indians in quest for a third consecutive Class AA Championship, defeated Lincoln 9-2 in Bridgeport. The Tribe plated two runs in the first inning and three more in their second at bat to build a comfortable lead.
J.T. Harris was the catalyst offensively for the hosts. Harris was 3 for 4 with a triple. He also scored (drove in) three runs. Ross Marra was also 3 for 4 from the dish and Joe Dodrill scored three runs in the win. Brine Takahashi went five innings to claim the victory.
The Cougars were led by Hunter Moore and Dustin Marks. Moore was 2 for 3 from the plate and Marks hammered a homer.
South Harrison defeated Notre Dame 9-2 for their sectional championship.
Braeden Hurst went the distance on the mound with five strike-outs and one walk. Ian Riggleman was 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBI’s. He also had a double, the game’s lone extra base hit. Nate Fernandez was 2 for 4 with four runs batted in. Jacob Montgomery was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
The Fighting Irish were led by Hampton Haymond. Haymond was 2 for 3 in the outing.
Congratulations to all of the victors as they have kept their state championship aspirations alive.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!