CHAPMANVILLE - Amid rebuilding seasons it will be very difficult for either the Chapmanville or Logan softball teams to make it to Vienna this spring.
Both teams are very young and were hit hard by graduation.
The two county rivals met on Wednesday evening at Chapmanville, playing for the future and playing for bragging rights, as the homestanding Lady Tigers won 9-2 over Logan in seven innings at Chapmanville Regional High School's Ronnie Ooten Filed.
Chapmanville plated four runs in the bottom of the second inning and that proved to be enough as the Lady Tigers evened their record to 6-6 on the season. Logan dropped to 4-11.
Freshman second baseman Baylee Belcher, stepping in for injured starter Bailey Parsons and playing out of position, led Chapmanville's 12-hit attack as she was 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles and an RBI.
Third baseman Jenna Barker hit a home run and was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Senior shortstop Shea Pridemore was 2-for-3 and sophomore pitcher Sierra Cook was 2-for-4 with a double and one run knocked in.
Cook went the distance, tossing a five-hitter over seven innings with 13 strikeouts and no issued walks. Cook had a no-hitter alive until the fourth inning with one out. Emma Vinson pitched for Logan and took the loss.
Chapmanville had an incredible three-year run, winning the 2016 Class AA state championship and finishing state runner-ups to Cardinal Conference rival Herbert Hoover the last two seasons, while compiling an 80-17 record the last three seasons, including a 22-5 last spring.
The Lady Tigers are in rebuilding mode, something the program is unaccustomed to, having lost six starters from last year's team with five graduating. Making matters more difficult, starting catcher K.K. Davis is nursing an injured knee and may not return this season. Then last week, CRHS lost another starter as Parsons was hit on the head while running in foul territory for a pop up. It's unclear when she will return.
All in all, it was a nice win for Chapmanville over its chief rival. The Lady Tigers won for the ninth straight time over the Lady Cats, taking 8-0, 8-5 and 10-0 wins last season, 1-0, 12-1 and 4-0 decisions in 2017 and 13-5 and 8-0 wins in 2016.
Logan last beat Chapmanville in the 2015 season, sweeping to 8-0 and 7-3 wins.
"We are building for now," Chapmanville coach Ronnie Ooten said about his young team. "We're trying to get ready for the sectional and this win will help us. We have two or three who are injured. It's like a whole team team but it's good for us to get those young kids out there."
Catcher Asheigh Mahon, another freshman, had a hit and and RBI for the Lady Tigers. DP Tonya McCormick, a junior, also had a single and a run batted in. First baseman Tabitha Adkins added a double for Chapmanville.
Back-to-back RBI doubles by Cook and Belcher put Chapmanville up 2-0 in the second. McCormick made it 3-0 with an RBI single up the middle and Barker later drew a bases loaded walk for the fourth run.
Logan cut it to 4-1 in the top of the fourth with shortstop Ashlyn Conley's slicing RBI double down the right field line.
The Lady Tigers made it 6-1 in the last half of the fourth with Barker's deep one-hop double to the center field fence and Mahon's RBI single.
Logan cut it to 6-2 in the fifth as Katie Fleming doubled and later scored on a CRHS error.
Chapmanville expanded the lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth as two runners scored on a single wild pitch.
Barker then slammed a solo homer to straight away center field, between the scoreboard and the flag pole, to finish off the scoring.
Emma Elkins had two hits for Logan. It was Elkins who broke up Cook's no-hit bid with a bloop single to shallow right center field in the fourth. Raegan Quick also had a hit for the Lady Cats.
"Take nothing away from Chapmanville," Logan first-year coach Jason Davis said after the game. "When you play them they are going to give you everything they've got. There's no (Kenzie) McCann on the mound this year but their girl (Cook) is very good. Chapmanville is always going to field the ball well and hit the ball well. They are solid. Our girls are young. We just have to quit making mistakes. It's good thing that we have two feet because we shot all our toes off of our one foot."
Logan starters Sarah Noe and Hailey Maynard, attending a field trip during the day for school, arrived late in the fourth inning but got into the game.
The Lady Tigers are scheduled to play at Poca on Friday, weather permitting. Chapmanville hosts Wayne on Saturday and goes to Man on Monday.
Logan was slated to host Westside on Thursday and go to Point Pleasant on Friday. LHS hosts Lincoln County on Monday.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org