VIENNA — The Wayne High School softball team did the unthinkable — and the near impossible — as the Pioneers battled back to win three games in one day on Thursday to claim the Class AA state championship at a sun-drenched and hot Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna.
The Pioneers, playing in their first state tournament since 1994, dusted off Keyser, 9-1, in Thursday morning’s loser’s bracket elimination game, then toppled defending state champion Ritchie County twice, winning 4-3 and 3-0 to take the crown.
Wayne won its first ever state softball title and closed out with a 30-6 record.
The Pioneers scored their only three runs in the second inning in the championship game with Ritchie County (28-7).
Jessica Rowe tossed a one-hit shutout for Wayne, striking out 11 and walking only one batter. Moie Ray was tagged with the loss for the Rebels.
Tasha Maynard was 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Pioneers’ eight-hit attack. Jessica Watts was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Emily Fry, Elizabeth Parsons, Kayla Adams, Payton Fetty and Rowe all had hits for Wayne. Parsons also drove in a run.
Cassidy Ray had Ritchie County’s only hit of the game.
Named to the Class AA all-tournament team were: Wayne’s Watts, Parsons, Rowe and Maynard; Ritchie County’s Allison DeLancey, Ray and Kelsey Waggoner; Keyser’s Taylor Haggerty and Meghan Anderson; and Shady Springs’ Michelle Snodgrass.
Wayne advanced with a 4-3 win earlier in the day against Ritchie County to force a winner-take-all title game.
Rowe was the winning pitcher for the Pioneers as she fired seven innings and allowed two earned runs and nine hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Waggoner took the loss. She yielded three earned runs and six hits with four strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.
The Pioneers led 4-1 after four after a three-spot in the third. Ritchie County plated two runs in the sixth but was held scoreless in the seventh.
Rowe was 2-for-3 to lead the Wayne bats. Watts also had a hit and an RBI. Parsons and Savannah Perry each drove in a run, while Kasey Endicott added a double. Fry and Maynard had singles.
Vannessa Tallman, DeLancey and Rachel Haddox had two hits each for the Rebels.
In Thursday morning’s elimination game, Wayne had no trouble with Keyser, winning 9-1 over the Golden Tornado.
The Pioneers banged out 13 hits in the rout.
Maynard led the way as she was 3-for-4 with a triple. Perry was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Fry was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI. Watts was 2-for-2, while Endicott had a double and an RBI.
Parsons and Rowe each added a hit and an RBI for the Pioneers. Fetty also drove in a run.
Katie Hoban was 2-for-3 at the plate for Keyser.
Emily Thompson was the starting and winning pitcher for Wayne. She hurled seven innings and allowed one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
No. 4-ranked Wayne had advanced to the state tournament with an 8-3 regional semifinal win at No. 1-ranked Chapmanville and a road win at Herbert Hoover in the region title game.
* In the Class A state championship game on Thursday at Vienna, No. 1-ranked Buffalo beat Moorefield 6-3.
Chelsey Parkins was the winning pitcher. Ali Burdette came in to notch the save.
Buffalo (32-7) had defeated Man 10-1 last week in the regional championship game to advance to Vienna.
Moorefield (34-6) moved on with an 8-6 win over St. Marys in the loser’s bracket final. St. Marys finished its season with a 27-6 record.
* In the Class AAA state tournament on Thursday, John Marshall won 11-6 over Parkersburg South to claim the championship.
South had won 12-5 over John Marshall earlier in the day to force the winner-take-all game. The Patriots played three games on Thursday, also defeating Logan 6-0 in a late morning elimination contest.
Kristin Lewicki was 3-for-5 with an RBI for John Marshall (35-4) in the second championship game. Alyssa George was 2-for-2 with a three-run homer in the fifth. Kylie Howard was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
Gena Trippett was 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI for Parkersburg South (26-14).
Megan Garcia was the winning pitcher for the Monarchs. Nicole Landis took the loss for South.
In the first 3A championship game, the Patriots outhit John Marshall 12-9.
Taylor Wittekind was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a triple and three RBI to lead Parkersburg South. Katelyn Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Lewicki led the Monarchs as she was 3-for-4 with a run driven in.
CeCe Bailey pitched the win for South as she fired seven innings and fanned three. Amy Rotriga took the loss.
Named to the all-tournament team in the Class AAA division were: Logan’s Katie Chryssofos and Rachelle Toppings; Robert C. Byrd’s Ashley Bassel; Parkersburg South’s Bailey, Trippett and Katelyn Hamilton; John Marshall’s Lewicki, Garcia, Alexa Jones and Kylie Howard.
Logan was the winner of the Sportsmanship Award.