It was a bumpy ride last season for the Logan High School softball team.
With No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers Shana Hall and Aarron Ward missing most of the last few weeks of the regular season with tendonitis in their throwing arms and starter Hanna Sedlock, a DP and another pitcher out due to illness, the Lady Cats had to reshuffle their lineups.
Catcher Chastity Wiley and position player Antonia Hill were forced into mound duty — something they hadn’t done in many years.
It began to unravel for Logan as the Lady Cats lost nine out of their last 12 games to finish with an un-Logan-like 12-18 record.
The Lady Cats were swept in their Class AAA sectional tourney by St. Albans, falling 15-6 and 14-7 to the Red Dragons as LHS saw its string of four straight appearances in the state tournament come to an end.
Logan hopes to turn things around this season.
The new season is scheduled to begin March 25, weather permitting, as the Lady Cats are scheduled to host county rival Chapmanville.
Logan dropped two games to the Lady Tigers in the second half of the season a year ago as the Lady Cats fell 6-4 and 8-1.
Chapmanville, which had dropped seven straight games to Logan going back to 2009, also suffered an uncharacteristic sub .500 season last year as CRHS went 15-17. Chapmanville last beat Logan five years ago as the Lady Tigers took two out of three games from the Lady Cats, including a 3-1 victory in 13 innings at Logan in a game in which CRHS pitcher Andi Williamson struck out a state record 33 batters in a three-and-a-half hour marathon.
Logan lost a few seniors from last year’s team, including Hall and starting shortstop and leadoff batter Rachelle Toppings, who has taken her game to the University of Charleston and is currently teaming at UC with former Logan pitcher Morgan Aguirre and Chapmanville twins Allison and Jenna Evans.
Also lost was Hill, a steady player who played in both the infield and the outfield for Coach Randy Robinette.
Logan, though, returns plenty of talent this season as the LHS softball team always seems to do.
Starting centerfielder Summer Collins, a junior, is back for the Lady Cats as well as starting right fielder and senior Hannah Kolovich.
Wiley returns behind the plate as does third baseman Taylor Napier, Sedlock, senior second baseman Shelby Hale, infielder Kiana Hill, infielder Sam Curry, Airyonna Scales and many others.
After a very snowy and cold winter the Lady Cats are anxious to get back on the diamond.
Another winter storm dumped up to eight inches of snow in Logan and surrounding counties early on Monday morning, cancelling school.
Spring and the upcoming softball season can’t seem to get here quick enough.
If only the weather will break.
After the opener with Chapmanville, LHS is slated to go to Lincoln County on March 26 and then to South Charleston on March 27 before hosting Point Pleasant on March 28.
Logan is then scheduled to play its fifth game in five days on March 29 with a contest at former Class AA sectional foe Scott.
One of the season highlights is Logan’s annual trip to the Best of the Best Tournament at Buffalo. This year’s tourney is set for April 15-17.
The Lady Cats play a second game at Chapmanville later in the season and are also scheduled to play in Chapmanville’s tourney on April 4-5.
Logan also has home-and-homes with sectional foes St. Albans and Nitro and also has home-and-home series with 3A teams Winfield, George Washington, South Charleston, 2A squads Scott and Wyoming East and Single-A teams Man and Sherman.
Logan split with the county rival Man Lady Billies last season, winning 5-3 at home and falling 2-1 on the road. Man made it to the Class A state tournament last season but went 0-2, losing to Moorefield (3-2) and Wheeling Central (5-2).
Logan has won four state championships in its history — a 1986 crown, 3A titles in 2001 and 2002 and a Double-A state title in 2006.
— The Logan Banner will preview Logan County’s six baseball and softball teams in the coming weeks.
2014 Logan High School
March 25: Chapmanville, 5:30 p.m.
March 26: at Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.
March 27: at South Charleston, 5:30 p.m.
March 28: Point Pleasant, 5:30 p.m.
March 29: at Scott, 1 p.m.
March 31: St. Albans, 6 p.m.
April 1: at Winfield, 5:30 p.m.
April 2: at Nitro, 6 p.m.
April 3: South Charleston, 5:30 p.m.
April 4-5: at Chapmanville tournament, TBA.
April 7: at Man, 5:30 p.m.
April 8: at Sherman, 5:30 p.m.
April 9: Wyoming East, 5:30 p.m.
April 10: Winfield, 5:30 p.m.
April 11: at Point Pleasant, 5:30 p.m.
April 16: Nitro, 5:30 p.m.
April 17-19: at Best of the Best Tournament (at Buffalo), TBA.
April 21: at St. Albans, 5:30 p.m.
April 22: at George Washington, 5:30 p.m.
April 23: at Chapmanville, 5:30 p.m.
April 24: Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.
April 25: Scott, 5:30 p.m.
April 26: Pikeview (DH), 1 p.m.
April 28: Man, 5:30 p.m.
April 29: Sherman, 5:30 p.m.
April 30: at Wyoming East, 5:30 p.m.