CHAPMANVILLE — Ronnie Ooten and the Chapmanville Regional High School softball team is not accustomed to losing.
In 33 seasons as head coach of the Lady Tigers Chapmanville, a normal state powerhouse, had never suffered a losing season.
But last year, Chapmanville dipped below the .500 mark as the Lady Tigers closed out 15-17, falling for the second straight year to Wayne in the Class AA regional semifinals.
Chapmanville, which has five state championships in its history (1999, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010) last played in the state tournament in 2011, led by the Evans twins, Allison and Jenna.
The Lady Tigers hope to turn things around this spring.
Chapmanville’s 2014 season schedule was recently released and several interesting games are on the slate.
The season opener is slated for March 19 at home against Poca in a Cardinal Conference game.
Chapmanville, which squeaked out a two games to one victory over Scott to win the sectional title, also has home-and-homes against the rival Lady Hawks. The first meeting is March 20 at Madison.
The Lady Tigers also play home-and-home series against both county rivals, Logan and Man. Logan, like Chapmanville, struggled last season with a losing record. Man advanced to the Class A state tournament in Vienna last year.
Chapmanville and Man will renew its county rivalry. The Lady Tigers and Lady Billies have not played each other much over the course of the last six or seven seasons.
In addition, CRHS has non-conference series with 3A Lincoln County and Class A Sherman as well this season.
Chapmanville lost to Wayne 4-1 in last year’s regionals. The Lady Tigers toppled Scott, 6-5, in the sectional championship game at Madison.
CRHS will have to find some new pitchers. Both of last year’s primary hurlers, Talya Berry and Emma Paris, have graduated. Berry went 14-14 within the circle last season and hit .379 with two homers and 19 RBI.
Also lost to graduation were: left fielder Brandi Broom (.205); and catcher Hanna Wooten (.361, two HRs, 19 RBI and 15 stolen bases).
Chapmanville returns: junior infielder/outfielder Caitlin Elkins (.215, 15 SB); senior infielder Lauryn Easterling (.250, 12 SB); junior third baseman Samarah Hurst (.167, 1 HR); sophomore center fielder Cydnee Lambert (.188, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 11 SB); and sophomore shortstop Shian Meeks (.219, 12 RBI, 9 SB).
Hope Kirk, Savannah Wiley and Addy Lucas also saw some varsity time last year.
2014 Chapmanville Regional
High School Softball Schedule
March 19: Poca, 6 p.m.
March 20: at Scott, 5:30 p.m.
March 21: Tolsia, 5:30 p.m.
March 24: at Sissonville, 5:30 p.m.
March 25: at Logan, 5:30 p.m.
March 26: Mingo Central, 5:30 p.m.
March 28: Herbert Hoover, 5:30 p.m.
March 31: Man, 5:30 p.m.
April 1: at Mingo Central, 5:30 p.m.
April 7: at Wayne, 5:30 p.m.
April 8: Scott, 5:30 p.m.
April 10: at Poca, 6 p.m.
April 11: Sherman, 5:30 p.m.
April 14: at Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.
April 16: Wayne, 5:30 p.m.
April 17: at Tolsia, 5:30 p.m.
April 21: at Man, 5:30 p.m.
April 22: Sissonville, 5:30 p.m.
April 23: Logan, 5:30 p.m.
April 24: at Herbert Hoover, 5:30 p.m.
April 28: at Sherman, 5:30 p.m.
May 1: Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.