The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
Dodging heavy rains that forced the cancellation of the Scottish Festival in Bridgeport, softball sectionals were completed this past week. Grounds crews throughout North Central West Virginia earned their keep as they did an excellent job providing an opportunity for some of the top teams in the state to get postseason play underway.
Three Harrison County teams advanced to second round play after earning sectional titles. Bridgeport, Liberty, and South Harrison were victories over stiff competition to start the “second” season of softball.
The Indians, Lincoln, and Robert C. Byrd battled in the same section. The Cougars and The Flying Eagles met in the opening matchup on Tuesday in Clarksburg. Lincoln took a 9-4 win. After a scoreless first inning, the Cougars plated three runs in the second inning. Lincoln would extend their advantage to 7-0 in the top of the fourth before the hosts would rally to score four of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The visitors would tack on a pair of additional insurance runs in the fifth inning to claim the win.
Madi Andrick went the distance to claim the victory. Josie Payton smacked a home run while Tayler Watson, Haven Rogers, Sheyenne Summers, and Marlee Smith all collected a pair of hits for the Cougars.
On Friday, Bridgeport edged Lincoln 4-2. With the game knotted at 1-1, the Tribe scored a pair of runs in the fourth that proved to be the difference. Shae Tomasik tossed a three hitter and Molly Lane drove in three runs to propel the Indians to the win.
The Cougars were paced by Payton’s 2 for 2 effort at the plate.
In the elimination game later that evening, Lincoln blanked Robert C. Byrd 8-0. Andrick picked up her second postseason victory with the one hit shutout. Marlee Smith had a pair of hits and Payton had a double.
In the sectional final, Bridgeport claimed a 12-0 win. Tomasik garnered the win on the mound while three Tribe batters had multi-hit performances. Taylor Smith and Molly Lane had three hits apiece and Emily Riggs had a pair in the clinching contest.
Liberty started postseason play with a 13-5 six inning win over Grafton. The Mountaineers broke a 5-5 tie by scoring eight runs in the final inning to garner the win.
Logan Shanholtz went the distance and helped her own cause by claiming a pair of hits at the dish. Daisy Gibbons, Mariah Wilson, Lexi Carder, and Cheyenne Clayton all had a pair of hits in the affair.
The Mounties knocked off Phillip Barbour 7-3 on Saturday to secure the championship. Shanholtz was the winner on the mound and she added a home run in the victory. Daisy Gibbons had a pair of hits in the win for Liberty.
South Harrison took two from Notre Dame to claim their belt. The Hawks took game one 18-2 in a five inning lock-up in Clarksburg. Sydney Lipscomb went the distance striking out six, and claiming three hits for the Hawks. Lora McDonald smacked three hits including a double. Tori Stout and Katie Devericks had two hits apiece in the win.
Jordyn Rowh had a pair of hits for the Fighting Irish. The next evening these squads hooked up in Lost Creek. The Hawks held a 5-3 advantage in the fourth inning. Rain forced the game to be postponed until Saturday where the Hawks would claim a 6-5 victory. Lipscomb earned the win once again and also collected a triple on the day.
Katie Devericks had a pair of hits in the match-up for South Harrison.
Kira Riffle (three hits) and Ashley Mordan (two hits) led the attack for Notre Dame.
Bridgeport, Liberty and South Harrison are all scheduled for Regional play today-weather pending!
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!