South thunders past North
BUFFALO, W.Va. — Many times in All-Star contests, it takes a while for players to get a bit acquainted with one another and get used to playing together instead of against each other.
That was not the case for the South softball team this week, however.
Many of the girls have become close through ASA softball with the Mountain Thunder and through playing over the years.
That confidence and knowledge of each other’s abilities shined through as the South earned an easy tripleheader sweep over the North by a combined score of 29-3.
“We’ve played with each other so much that it’s kind of the same and there’s other girls who are on that team that are on this team,” Cabell Midland’s Morgan Zerkle said. “Even the people we don’t know, we still know who they are because we’ve played so much.”
Thunderstorms early in the day put the games in jeopardy, but the work of the volunteer staff, led by Buffalo coach Darrell Moore, and the fact that Buffalo has a turf infield surface enabled things to go on as planned.
That was pivotal for the seven South participants who are also part of the Mountain Thunder ASA team. Directly after the game, they all left in vehicles en route to Columbia, S.C., for a summer tournament, which starts at 8 a.m. on Friday morning.
“We wouldn’t have been able to be here if we had to reschedule it, so I’m happy we got it in,” Wayne’s Jessica Watts said.
Those seven participants from the Mountain Thunder were Zerkle, Watts, Cabell Midland’s Morgan Kelley and Jenny Brumfield, George Washington’s Rachel Ward, St. Albans’ Ali Haynes and Sherman’s Mackenzie Smith.
It allowed the players a unique opportunity of wearing their high school jerseys one last time while also representing the strong summer program they’ve built.
“It felt good to represent our high school team and it was also cool to play with our Mountain Thunder girls that we’ve been with for a long time,” Kelley said. “That was a lot of fun.”
Six of the seven participated in the first game and all scored runs in the South’s 8-0 win in which Haynes earned MVP honors after tossing a three-hit shutout.
In the second contest, it was a bit of a Cabell Midland show as Zerkle gained MVP honors after a 2-for-3 performance in which she had a triple, three stolen bases, three runs scored and two RBIs in the South’s 13-1 win that featured an eight-run fourth inning.
Brumfield also had a three-run double while stealing two bases while Smith delivered a 250-foot line drive home run to plate three as well.
The third game featured a bit of a Class AA flavor as Sissonville’s Bekah Baldwin earned MVP honors in the 8-2 five-inning win. Baldwin earned the win in the circle and laced a three-run shot over center field in the third to help the South break a 2-2 tie.
Scott’s Allyson Johnson finished 2-for-3 and also went deep in the final game — her second home run of the day after uncorking a three-run blast in the opening game.
Lincoln County’s Morgan Hutchison finished 2-for-4 in the first game while Hurricane’s Linzie Reynolds added an RBI in game two.
The South now leads the all-time series 25-21.
SOUTH 300 001 4 — 8 9 0
NORTH 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Haynes and Caudill. Hanson and Allen, Parrish (4). Hitting: (S) Hutchison 2-4, RBI; Haynes 2B; Baldwin 2B, RBI; Burdette 2-4, RBI; Johnson HR, 3 RBI. (N) Loy 2B.
MVP: (S) Ali Haynes, St. Albans. (N) Jamie Myers, University.
NORTH 000 10 — 1 3 2
SOUTH 113 8x — 13 10 0
Lewis-Lambert and Allen. Burdette and Reynolds. Hitting: (N) Allen RBI. (S) Sword 2-2, RBI; Davis 2-4, RBI; Johnson RBI; Smith HR, 3 RBI; Brumfield 2B, 2 SB, 3 RBI; Zerkle 2-3, 3B, 3 SB, 2 RBI; Reynolds RBI
MVP: (S) Morgan Zerkle, Cabell Midland. (N) Morgan Allen, Gilmer County.
NORTH 002 00 — 2 6 1
SOUTH 026 0x — 8 8 3
Lewis-Lambert, Hanson (3) and Allen. Baldwin and Caudill. (N) Rovello 2-3, RBI. (S) Johnson 2-3, HR, 2 RBI; Caudill 2-3, RBI; Brumfield 2B; Wooten RBI; Baldwin HR, 3 RBI
MVP: (N) Tori Rovello, Bridgeport. (S) Bekah Baldwin, Sissonville.