The Logan High School softball team feels that it has some unfinished business to attend to.
And that is to win the Class AAA state championship.
It won’t be easy, of course.
It never is.
The No. 5-ranked Lady Cats (27-5) are scheduled to open play in the 3A state tourney on Wednesday at noon against Parkersburg South (22-12) at Jackson Park in Vienna. John Marshall (32-3) plays Robert C. Byrd (22-13) in Game One at 10 a.m.
Logan advanced with last Thursday’s 7-0 win at Greenbrier East in the Class AAA Region 3 championship game.
The Lady Cats had won 9-1 at home over Riverside in the regional semifinals and took a 1-0 victory at South Charleston in the Class AAA sectional title game.
In all three games, Logan senior pitching ace Morgan Aguirre tossed a one-hitter.
Parkersburg South advanced with a 3-1 victory over Cabell Midland in the Region 4 championship game. John Marshall beat East Fairmont (8-0) and Robert C. Byrd downed Musselman (3-2) to reach the state tourney.
The double-elimination tourney is scheduled to continue later in the day on Wednesday with second-round contests at 5 and 7 p.m. Then on Thursday, an elimination game is slated for 10 a.m. with the state finals set for 2:30 p.m.
Logan enters the state tournament for the fourth straight year after claiming four regional championships in a row.
The Lady Cats are senior-laden and motivated.
Aguirre led Logan to victory over Greenbrier East as she fired all seven innings and gave up just a single in the fourth. She struck out seven and walked none. At the plate, she was 2-for-3 to lead Logan’s bats. Senior Lara Sedlock also had two hits.
The right-hander Aguirre had an outstanding season as she was 13-4 in the circle heading into the regional final with a 1.53 ERA and 158 strikeouts. At the plate, Aguirre hit .449 with five home runs, 31 RBI, 15 doubles and 44 hits.
Against Riverside, she also fired a one-hitter and banged out four hits at the plate.
In the win over South Charleston, Aguirre had a one-hit shutout, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning.
For Logan’s seniors — Aguirre, Sedlock, Taylor Norman, Katie Chryssofos, Emily Vinson and Emily Allred — this is the fourth time they will have played in the state tourney.
“We’re very excited to be back for the fourth year in a row,” Logan coach Randy Robinette said. “I just hope that we perform better than we did last year.”
Last year, Logan went 1-2 to finish third. The Lady Cats began with a 5-3 win over John Marshall, then lost 2-0 to Lincoln County, the eventual state champs. Logan met John Marshall again on the second day of the tourney and were ousted 6-2 by the Monarchs in the loser’s bracket.
Logan went 2-2 in the state tourney in 2010 and 1-2 in 2009.
Several Lady Cats had outstanding 2012 seasons in addition to Aguirre.
Chryssofos, Logan’s catcher, hit .376 this year with 10 homers, 38 RBI and 35 total hits. She’s slugged 32 home runs in her last three seasons.
Norman was 10-1 within the circle this season with a 1.28 ERA and 72 strikeouts. She hit a team-best .485 with 16 RBI and 32 hits.
Sedlock, Logan’s senior first baseman, had another fine season for the Lady Cats this spring as she hit .395 with 41 RBI and 47 total hits to lead the team.
Outfielder Antonia Hill had a .357 batting average with four RBI and 15 total base hits.
Shortstop Rachelle Toppings hit .430 with 13 RBI and 46 hits.
Vinson, the starting centerfielder, batted .233 for the Lady Cats this season and played well defensively. She moved from right field to center in the early part of the season.
Right fielder Shana Hall also saw some time this season in the circle and was 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA and 11 strikeouts.
Logan met the Parkersburg South Patriots once this season and came away with a convincing 10-2 victory on April 14 at the Best of the Best tourney at Buffalo.
The Lady Cats have won eight out of their last nine games going into the state tourney.
The Patriots are 10-1 in their last 11 contests with the only loss being an 11-3 setback to state tourney bound John Marshall.
Parkersburg South, coached by Jennifer Null, are playing in the Class AAA state tourney for the first time since 2004. The Patriots moved on to state in dramatic fashion as Genna Trippett crushed a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead South past Cabell Midland, 3-1, in last Thursday’s Region 4 title game.
CeCe Bailey was the winning pitcher for the Patriots. She pitched seven innings and allowed one run and five hits with no walks and five strikeotus. Bailey, a first-team all-state pick last year, has 22 wins on the season with a 1.33 ERA and 194 strikeouts.
Trippett, Parkersburg South’s senior catcher, leads the team in batting average at a .379 clip. She also has team-bests in doubles (10), home runs (11) and RBI (40).
Katelyn Hamilton was 3-for-3 with a double to lead South’s bats.
“They have a real good pitcher,” Robinette said. “She has a good fastball, a good curve ball and an excellent change-up. That could give us some trouble. They are a very good hitting ballclub. Their catcher has hit a lot of home runs. She’s pretty good. She hit one off of us down in the Best of the Best, so we know what she can do. They’re a very solid ballclub. They’ll be playing at home and they will have a lot of people there. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
John Marshall, making its third straight trip to the state tourney, challenged for the state title last season and are searching for its first crown since 1988. The Monarchs, coached by Ed West, are led by pitcher Amy Rotriga.
Rotriga tossed a shutout in the Class AAA semifinals as John Marshall won 6-0 over University. She fanned 10, walked none and ran her consecutive scoreless innings streak to 23.1. Rotriga was on the mark, throwing 80 strikes in 101 of her pitches.
“We played John Marshall last year and they still have the same pitcher,” Robinette said. “They have most of their team back. I think that they lost two kids from last year. We split with them last year so we know a little bit about them. I don’t know a whole lot about Robert C. Byrd. I have a few reports on them and they seem to be a pretty good ballclub.”
Logan last won a state title in 2006 as a member of the Class AA ranks.
The Lady Cats took a championship in 1986 and won Class AAA state crowns in 2001 and 2002 when the tourney was played at Summersville.
Representing southern West Virginia in the Class AA state tourney is Wayne (26-5), which is making its first state tourney appearance since 1994. The Pioneers knocked off Chapmanville 8-3 in the regional semifinals then won at Herbert Hoover in the finals to advance to Vienna.
Wayne is coached by Tish Smith and are led by a pair of returning first-team all-state selections in sophomore pitcher Jessie Rose and junior shortstop Jessica Watts.