Hurricane rolls in Vienna
VIENNA, W.Va. — Hurricane’s first day at the state softball tournament was memorable.
The Redskins earned a pair of wins that sent them into the Thursday, 2 p.m.,Class AAA championship game where they await the winner of Wheeling Park and Jefferson.
Hurricane earned the finals berth with an 11-4 win over Jefferson in which the Redskins pounded out 16 hits.
Pitcher Courtney Rogers said the atmosphere took getting used to, but the team thrived on the big stage.
“The atmosphere is completely different,” Rogers said.
“There’s so many more people and we know we have to lay it all out on the line to make it to the championship and win it all.”
The big inning for the Redskins came in the third when five runs crossed the plate following five hits and a Jefferson error.
Amber Null had a two-run double that provided the big shot in the inning while Addie Fullen added an RBI double.
Null, the Redskins’ No. 9 hitter, had a huge day, driving in the game-winner in a morning 2-1 win over Wheeling Park and following with a 2-for-3 performance with three RBIs in game two.
Linzie Reynolds finished the win over Jefferson a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate while Fullen was 3-for-4 with the RBI double.
After Hurricane jumped to a 7-0 lead, Jefferson battled back to within 7-4 at the end of four innings.
However, the Redskins got a run in the top of the fifth and added three in the sixth while reliever Emily Davis came in to spell Rogers and shut down the Cougars’ offense.
The offensive battle between Hurricane and Jefferson was a stark contrast to the day’s first game in which the Redskins got the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh from Null to earn the win over Wheeling Park.
Fullen had led off the inning with a single after Wheeling Park had gone down to its last strike before tying the game up on a Hurricane error following a groundball.
It was the only way the Patriots could scratch together a run against Rogers, who was dealing in the circle for the Redskins.
“She did a great job keeping them off balance — throwing her change-up when we needed it,” Hurricane coach Josh Caldwell said. “She stayed on the corner for the most part. I don’t know what they had as far as hits, but they didn’t murder the ball.”
Rogers allowed just one hit — a single in the third inning — as she shut down the Wheeling Park lineup. She struck out four batters. That single in the third inning was the only ball that left the infield.
Hurricane took a 1-0 advantage in the fourth inning when Cassi Sargent was hit by a pitch and later scored on an error following a shot by Linzie Reynolds.
Despite the win, Caldwell said he didn’t feel like his team played well in game one.
They certainly bounced back offensively in game two, though.
“We just want to find a way to win, but I didn’t feel like we played real well,” Caldwell said. “We didn’t get two big bunts down and it could’ve cost us. Courtney pitched real well and we got the hits and contact when we needed it.”
Hurricane is in the driver’s seat because the winner of Wheeling Park and Jefferson will have to beat the Redskins twice to earn the title.
If Hurricane does win the Class AAA title, it will make the seventh time in eight years that the title has belonged to Region IV.
HURRICANE 115 013 0 — 11 16 1
JEFFERSON 002 200 0 — 4 11 5
Rogers, Davis (4) and Reynolds. A. Witt, J. Witt (3) and Shepherd. Hitting: (H) Casto 2-4; Pierson 2-5, 2B, RBI; Rogers 2-5, 2 2B, RBI; Reynolds 3-3; Fullen 3-4, 2B, RBI; Hebb 2-4, RBI; Null 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI.
WHEELING PARK 000 000 1 — 1 1 2
HURRICANE 000 100 1 — 2 5 3
Greer and Sidon. Rogers and Reynolds
Hitting: (H) Null RBI.