VIENNA — Facing elimination, with their backs against the wall and playing four scoreless innings in Wednesday’s Class AAA state tournament game with Robert C. Byrd, the Logan High School softball team needed something to happen.
The Lady Cats awoke from their slumber, plating four runs in the fifth, four more in the sixth and went on to blank RCB 8-0 last night at Vienna’s Jackson Memorial Park.
The win kept Logan alive in the double-elimination state tournament and improved the Lady Cats to 28-6 overall and 1-1 in the state tourney. Logan had opened state play with a disappointing 8-3 loss to Parkersburg South in Wednesday’s 3A state opener.
Logan survived to play either Parkersburg South or John Marshall in Thursday’s loser’s bracket final.
The winner then moves on to the finals.
Logan would have to win three games on Thursday in order to be crowned state champs.
The Lady Cats were just happy to move on last night.
It all started in the fifth inning where Logan used small ball to kick the Eagles back on their heels.
The Lady Cats’ bats then came alive in the sixth.
Meantime, Logan senior pitcher Taylor Norman was mowing them down as she earned the victory within the circle. She went six innings, allowing no runs and scattering seven hits while striking out six and walking one.
The game was stopped after six innings when the 8-run mercy rule came into effect.
Logan veteran coach Randy Robinette was pleased that his team didn’t fold, especially after four innings when the game was still 0-0 and Robert C. Byrd had thoughts of knocking off the Lady Cats.
“We survived and advanced and that’s the name of the game,” Robinette said. “We played well and we moved on to play tomorrow. We did a pretty good job. We woke up and the bats came alive. We did a much better job. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, we will play like this game.”
Four Lady Cats had multi-hit games.
Norman helped her own cause as she was 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead Logan’s 12-hit attack.
Katie Chryssofos was 2-for-4, banging a double off the right center field fence on the fly in the fourth inning.
Antonia Hill was 2-for-3, while Emily Vinson was 2-for-2.
Morgan Aguirre had a hit and two RBI. Rachelle Toppings, Lara Sedlock and Shelby Hale all had singles. Hale also had a pair of sacrifice bunts.
In the top of the fifth Logan sent nine batters to the plate. Hill got it started with a leadoff single against Eagles’ starter and loser Micca Henderson.
Logan then proceeded to dink RCB to death as Vinson had a bunt single and Hale followed with another bunt single as Hill ended up scoring on an error to make it 1-0.
Toppings then had Logan’s third bunt hit in a row. Vinson ended up scoring on the play as she was caught in a rundown between third and home but scored as the throw went high to the Eagle catcher and to the backstop.
Norman then chopped one past the Robert C. Byrd shortstop for an RBI single as the Lady Cats made it 3-0. Norman later scored on a wild pitch to put LHS ahead 4-0.
“The bunting was good. We dinked them to death,” Robinette said. “Then we finally got some bats going.”
In the sixth, Logan poured it on, sending nine more batters to the plate and scoring four more times.
It all came with two outs after a leadoff Hill single and a walk to Vinson. With runners at second and third, Norman stepped up and crushed a liner over the outstretched glove of a jumping Alicia Noble at shortstop into left center, scoring two, to make it 6-0.
Sedlock singled and Chryssofos had an infield single to load up the bases.
Aguirre then drove in two to increase the lead to 8-0 as she ripped a rifle shot back to the mound, off Henderson’s mitt and into center field.
Norman then got the Eagles out in the sixth to preserve the mercy-shortened win.
Robinette said he was happy to see his team bounce back.
“I don’t know what it is about coming up here. We failed to show up the first game,” Robinette said. “We played really poor and half of this game we didn’t play very well.”
Robinette said Norman was outstanding in the circle.
“Taylor Norman pitched a heck of a game,” he said. “That’s the first time that she pitched in a game since she was injured. She did a really good job for us.”
Robert C. Byrd closed out its season with a 22-15 record. The Eagles were beaten earlier in the day on Wednesday by John Marshall, 10-3.
Henderson pitched all six innings and allowed eight runs and 12 hits with two strikeouts and two walks.