VIENNA — If the Logan High School softball team is going to advance to Thursday’s Class AAA state championship game they are going to have to do it the hard way.
The Lady Cats dropped its state tourney opener to Parkersburg South, 8-3, on Wednesday afternoon at Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna.
Logan, making its fourth straight trip to the state tournament but looking for its first state title since 2006, dropped to 27-6 on the season and fell into the loser’s bracket.
Parkersburg South, a red-hot team late in the season, improved to 24-11 and moved into the winner’s bracket. The Patriots gained a measure of revenge on Logan, a team which hammered South 10-2 earlier in the season in the Best of the Best Tournament at Buffalo.
With Wednesday’s state tourney win, Parkersburg South won for the 11th time in its last 12 games.
Logan coach Randy Robinette had said earlier in the week the key for his team was to go 2-0 in the first day of the state tourney, which is in a double-elimination format.
With the loss, that’s not going to happen.
Instead, the defeat dropped Logan into an elimination game on Wednesday night against Robert C. Byrd, which lost its state tourney opener on Wednesday morning to John Marshall, 10-3. RCB fell to 22-14, while John Marshall improved to 33-3. JMHS split with Logan in last year’s state tourney.
In the Logan-Parkersburg South game, Coach Jennifer Null’s Patriots wasted little time in getting on the board by plating four runs off Logan starter Morgan Aguirre in the bottom of the first inning to lead 4-0.
South tacked on two more in the third and one in the fourth to make it a 7-0 ballgame.
Logan got back into the game in the top of the fifth as senior catcher Katie Chryssofos drilled a three-run homer to right center off South starter CeCe Bailey to make it a 7-3 game. For Chryssofos, it was her 11th home run of the season and her 33rd in her last three years with the Lady Cats.
But then in the sixth, the Patriots added an insurance run to push the margin to 8-3.
Bailey then got Logan out in order in the top of the seventh to ice the win. She pitched all seven innings and allowed three runs and five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Aguirre took the loss as the senior hurler allowed eight runs and nine hits with two strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter in a six-inning worksheet.
To Aguirre’s defense, the Logan defense behind her was suspect at best as Logan committed four errors. Parkersburg South had two for the game.
The Patriots scored all four runs in the bottom of the first inning with two outs. Bailey got it started by helping her own cause with a two-run double to right center to put South ahead for good 2-0.
Alex West then followed with an RBI double to right center to increase the lead to 3-0.
No. 9 hitter Jenna Daugherty then finished off the scoring by executing a successful squeeze bunt with the bases loaded to put Parkersburg South on top 4-0.
The Lady Cats tried to rally in the top of the second as Aguirre singled and Shana Hall reached with a bunt single to put runners at first and second with no out.
Antonia Hill then sacrificed both over into scoring position with a nice bunt. Bailey then walked Sheby Hale to load up the bases with two out but got leadoff hitter Rachelle Toppings to pop out to second to kill the rally.
Parkersburg South then made it 6-0 in the third as Morgan Trippett laced a two-run single to right center.
In the fourth, the Patriots added another to make it 7-0 with shortstop Taylor Wittekind’s solo homer to center over the 210-foot sign.
Logan came back in the top of the fifth with the three-run shot by Chryssofos but South was able to score another in the sixth as leadoff batter Katelynn Hamilton singled and later came around on Kristen Hamilton’s bunt and errant throw to third by Logan.
West Daughterty were each 2-for-3 with an RBI for South.
Rachelle Toppings and Lara Sedlock had singles for Logan. Both had their hits in the fifth prior to the blast by Chryssofos.
Logan and Parkersburg South last met in the 2001 Class AAA state tourney at Summersville with the Lady Cats defeating the Patriots 2-1 in the state championship game.
Logan won back-to-back 3A state crowns in 2001 and 2002. First-year assistant coach Lindsay Noe was the starting catcher on both squads.
The Lady Cats also took state titles in 1986 and 2006 — the latter when Logan had a brief stint as a Double-A school.