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Softball: Magnolia Wins Class 3A title

April 29, 2012
By JOSH STROPE (Strope@theintelligencer.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Fort Frye pitcher Victoria Mimken was unhittable for the first three innings in Saturday's Class 3A OVAC championship against Magnolia, striking out nine of the first 10 batters.

But if there was one person in the home dugout that knew how to get to Mimken, it was first baseman Mallory Chapman.

Dallas Mullett broke up Mimken's no-hitter in the fourth inning with a single before Chapman hit a towering home run to right field three pitches later to give Magnolia a 2-0 lead.

Article Photos

Magnolia second baseman Abby Durig completes a force out of Fort Frye’s Abby Baker during action of their Class 3A game Saturday.

Blue Eagles pitcher Tori Tharp and the defense did the rest as Magnolia won, 3-0, to win its third OVAC softball title and first since 2006.

''It feels tremendous and I feel happy for these seniors,'' said Magnolia coach Mark Batton, who won his first OVAC title since taking over as coach. ''We always seemed to stub our toe in the semifinals so I am real tickled to see them play in the championship game and to turn around and win it is just icing on the cake.

''We are going to enjoy this one for a day or so.''

For Chapman, it was the second home run against Mimken in a little more than a week.

In a doubleheader last week at Hydro Field in New Martinsville, the sophomore got the best of Mimken. Her home run this time was a little more important.

''I knew as soon as I hit it was gone,'' Chapman said. ''It felt so good. She is such a good pitcher and that makes it so hard to time her up. She will throw different pitches. She is very good. As a hitter, you have to be ready for anything.

''We were a little down because we usually hit. Coach Batton got us up and momentum really started to come our way.''

Chapman was the lone batter that didn't strike out in the first three innings, instead walking on four pitches.

Marissa Bosley led off the sixth inning with a triple that just missed leaving the park. Two batters later, Chapman brought in the final run with a groundout to second.

Mimken allowed four hits, striking out 13.

''She did a nice job against us before and we struggled at the plate,'' Batton said. ''We just wanted to be patient with her. We were concerned but it doesn't matter how many hits you have, it just matters if they are the right ones.

''Dallas sparked us with the base hit, then Mallory ... wow, that was a bomb. I haven't seen one hit out of here like that in a long time.''

For Fort Frye coach Barb Sleek, it was a little deja vu. Just not in her favor this time.

In Tuesday's victory against Martins Ferry in the semifinals, Purple Riders pitcher Cirstie Delguzzo had her way with Fort Frye early on but the Cadets got the hits they needed and won, 2-0.

Against Magnolia, Fort Frye got a hit in every inning but the seventh and each time it was either the first or second batter of the inning.

Only in the sixth did the Cadets get another baserunner. Fort Frye had runners on second and third with one out but Tharp struck out Sammi Hanson for her seventh and final strikeout. Then she got Natalie Smith to groundout to end the threat.

''Sometimes softball is that way,'' Sleek said. ''We outhit them, just couldn't put them together. They got the one big hit at the right time. A little bittersweet but our girls played hard. We just couldn't poke him through when we needed them. Magnolia is a great team. You can't feel too bad going home knowing you lost to a great team 3-0 in a great ballgame.''

 
 

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