Chapmanville, the No. 7-ranked Class AA team in the state and the defending Double-A state champions, are just one win away from repeating as the Lady Tigers went 2-0 on Wednesday during the first day of the state tournament at Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna.
Chapmanville (24-13) beat No. 1-ranked Ritchie County 3-2 in Wednesday’s state tourney opener, rallying back from a 2-0 deficit. Then in the nightcap, the Lady Tigers routed unranked Shady Spring 12-2 in the winner’s bracket final to advance to Thursday’s 3 p.m. championship game against either Ritchie County (35-3) or Shady Spring (17-11), which were set to play this morning in the loser’s bracket final.
Frankfort was eliminated from the tourney after losing 6-5 to Shady in nine innings and also falling 10-3 to Ritchie County.
CRHS ended its game with Shady early in the bottom of the sixth inning with senior third baseman Bre Thomas’ walk-off solo home run.
Ritchie County and Shady Spring were set to play Thursday morning in an elimination game for the right to play Chapmanville in the finals.
Since the state tourney is in a double-elimination format, Chapmanville has the edge as the Lady Tigers would have to be beaten twice on Thursday.
One more win and the Lady Tigers will have won back-to-back state crowns in softball for the first time in school history. It would be Chapmanville’s fifth state championship and third in the last four years. The Lady Tigers have brought home state titles in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2009, all under 30-year head coach Ronnie Ooten, who has led the program since its beginnings in 1981.
Coach Ooten said he’s happy his team has advanced to the state championship round. The youthful Lady Tigers have improved steadily this season after getting off to a 6-6 start.
“We have to stay focused,” Ooten said. “We aren’t staying focused when we get a lead. But, I’m tickled to death with them. And this was great for Bre Thomas. She’s struggled and the home run was great for her. A month ago, I’d have bet my house that we wouldn’t be in the state tournament and now look at us.”
Allison Evans pitched the complete game win for Chapmanville in last night’s contest with Shady Spring.
CRHS plated six runs in the first and five in the second to take a commanding 11-0 lead.
Chapmanville outhit Shady 10-4.
Jenna Evans rapped out two doubles for Chapmanville and knocked in three runs.
Thomas went 3-for-4 with her homer and two RBI.
Alyssa Bailey was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Haley McCann added a hit.
Shady Spring committed five errors in the game to none for Chapmanville.
Allison Evans was also the winning pitcher in the opener against Ritchie County. Down 2-0 the Lady Tigers plated three runs in the seventh to win it.
Both teams were limited to two hits for the game.
Allison Evans had one hit and one RBI. Brandi Broom drove in the other run.
n The road to the state championship game will be much tougher for Logan and Man, which both went 1-1 in Wednesday action at Vienna.
Class A No. 1-ranked Man (24-6), the two-time defending state champions, were shocked 3-1 by No. 8 St. Marys in first-round action. The Lady Billies, led by all-state pitcher Marlena Frye, had beaten St. Marys twice during the regular season.
Man, though, rallied back to mercy No. 10 Fayetteville, 10-0, in Wednesday’s loser’s bracket elimination game.
The Lady Billies will have to play and win three games on Thursday in order to claim their third straight state title. It all begins at 10 a.m. as Man is set to take on St. Marys (24-11). The winner then moves on to play in the championship round at 2:30 p.m. against unbeaten South Harrison (24-8). If a second, winner-take-all final is needed it would be played 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game.
“This was a good comeback game for us,” Man coach Randy Epperly said about beating Fayetteville. “In that first game, we left 12 people on base. We had the bases loaded twice and had three or four chances to score. This was a good way to come back and get everyone’s spirits up. If we hit the ball the way we did against Fayetteville, we’ll be fine.”
In Man’s loss to St. Marys, Mikayla Hearn and Mandy Cokeley combined to allow just one earned run on four hits for the Blue Devils.
Frye was the starting and losing pitcher in Man’s loss to St. Marys.
The Blue Devils outhit Man 5-4.
Micayla Gibson went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead the Lady Billies.
Paige Stacy and Tabby Johnston also had hits.
In the victory over Fayetteville, Frye tossed a three-hit shutout as the Lady Billies won in five innings.
Malorie Vance was 4-for-4 with a double to lead Man’s 11-hit attack.
Johnston, Frye and Taylor Tomblin had two hits each.
South Harrison’s Tasha Hall threw the tournament’s only no-hitter in a 9-1 win over Fayetteville on Wednesday.
Hall fanned 10 and allowed just one unearned run.
n Logan is also in a pickle in the Class AAA bracket.
Like Man, the Lady Cats, the No. 4-ranked Class AAA team in the state, went 1-1 in state tourney action on Wednesday.
It started out promising for Logan as the Lady Cats blanked No. 6-rated Jefferson, 5-0. But then Logan was shut out 5-0 by No. 1-ranked St. Albans, which improved to 33-1 on the season.
St. Albans has advanced to Thursday’s 3A state finals at 2 p.m. where it will take on either Logan (28-4) or Jefferson (34-4).
Logan and Jefferson are set to face off at 9:30 a.m. in Thursday’s loser’s bracket elimination game.
The loser goes home but the winner moves on to play the Red Dragons in the finals. Jefferson’s Cougars advanced on Wednesday with a 4-2 victory over John Marshall.
Just like Man, it will be an uphill battle for Logan today.
In order to win the state championship, the Lady Cats would have to reel off three straight wins on the same day.
In the Logan-Jefferson game on Wednesday, the Lady Cats’ Taylor Norman ripped a two-run homer while Katie Chryssofos hit a solo shot, her 13th home run of the season.
Ali Neace was the starting and winning pitcher. She was relieved by Morgan Aguirre. The two combined to toss a two-hitter.
Jefferson committed four errors in the game to Logan’s one.
Britta Aguirre was 2-for-3 with a double for LHS.
Neace suffered the loss on the hill in last night’s St. Albans game. She was relieved by her younger sister Sommer Neace in the sixth inning.
Samantha Snodgrass pitched a complete game three-hitter for St. Albans.
Lara Sedlock, Aguirre and Chryssofos had one hit each for Logan.
Kasey Hickman was 2-for-3 with an RBI to pace the Red Dragons.
Both teams played an error-free game.
“We left two many people on base against St. Albans and we didn’t hit the ball well. (St. Albans’ Samantha) Snodgrass is a whale of a pitcher. She’s an excellent pitcher and they are very athletic. They’re a very good ballclub and, defensively, they made plays.”
The Red Dragons were battle-tested heading into the state tourney as St. Albans knocked off defending state champion Ripley and then topped No. 2-ranked Lincoln County in the regional tourney by identical 1-0 scores.
Leading 1-0 over Logan in Wednesday night’s game, the Red Dragons went on to plate four runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up by five.
That’s all that St. Albans would need.
Logan is trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s 1-2 showing at the state tourney in which the Lady Cats fell short of reaching the finals.
Ali Neace is the lone senior on the team.
Logan is led by head coach Randy Robinette, who has led LHS to state championships in 1986, 2001 and 2002. Logan won a 2A state title in 2006 under former head coach Kevin Bates.