WHEELING - Shenandoah struck for five runs on 11 hits during Wednesday's prep softball game with Wheeling Central at Lisa's Field. It would have been even more if not for the strong left arm of sophomore Maroon Knights catcher Allie Cook.
Cook picked off two runners leaning too far off first and gunned down another at third as Wheeling Central (17-1) emerged with a 6-5 victory.
''That was an ugly one,'' Maroon Knights coach Rick Magruder said with a laugh.
The team's combined for seven errors, but the Maroon Knights made one more play.
''Cookie picked off two or three runners, which was big,'' Magruder said. ''We made plays when we had to.
''The hitting ... we didn't hit the ball as well as we have been.''
Wheeling Central was limited to five hits, but the biggest one came off the bat of freshman left fielder Hannah Mozingo. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third and with the bases loaded and two down, Mozingo laced Zeps pitcher Jenna Cowgill's 1-2 pitch into the gap in left-center field for a bases-clearing triple.
''She came up with a really big hit,'' Magruder said.
That triple provided the Maroon Knights with a 4-1 lead, but it wasn't long until the game was again tied.
Shenandoah scored twice in the top of the fourth on back-to-back, run-scoring hits by Kelsey McKenzie and Alix Seever. It could have been worse, but Central winning pitcher Madison Basinger (three strikeouts, one walk) got Taylor Arick to line into a 6-3 double play to limit the damage.
An inning later the game was tied as Erica Rich singled leading off and came around to score on an error.
Wheeling Central regrouped though, and put a two-spot on the board in the bottom half of the fifth. Bailey Rehm singled leading off, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. She eventually scored on a dropped third strike, to make it 5-4.
Sydney Bennington, who coaxed her second walk, scored when an errant throw to first got away to make it 6-4 heading to the sixth.
''We played Shenandoah last year and knew they weren't going to be a pushover,'' Magruder said. ''I told the girls 'it's nice to find a way to win these kind of games,' which they did.
''But now is the time of year we want to be getting better.''
The Zeps didn't go quietly. Arick singled with two outs in the sixth and advanced to third on a two-base error. She was doubled home on the next pitch to make it 6-5.
Basinger allowed a two-out single in the seventh, but retired the side on six pitches to close things out.
''We're getting there,'' Magruder said. ''We're going to go back to the basics and work on the fundamentals.
River 10, Frontier 0
HANNIBAL - Rosie Romick doubled, tripled and drove in a run as River blanked Frontier in five innings.
Monica Curtis earned a victory and added a double among two hits with an RBI for the Pilots (17-2).
Bellaire 8, Union Local 4
BELLAIRE -Mary Garloch doubled among three hits and drove in a run as Bellaire topped Union Local.
Daffnie Clark also doubled among two hits for the Big Reds (10-3), while Morgan Runyan had an RBI single.
Morgan Edwards doubled among two hits for the Jets.
Magnolia 5, Cameron 0
CAMERON - Mallory Chapman tossed a two-hitter and retired 11 on strikes as Magnolia blanked Cameron.
Abby Duirg had three hits and drove in three runs for the Blue Eagles (11-7), while Davianne Croasmun had two hits and an RBI.
Linda Hall took the loss for the Dragons (8-8) as she fanned seven.
Wheeling Park 13
WHEELING - Ashleigh Sidon homered and doubled twice as Wheeling Park blanked Edison in four innings.
Carly Greer also doubled twice among three hits and Kat Donzella homered for the Patriots (11-4).
Morgan Karnell and Kelsi Johnson each doubled among two hits.
Indian Creek 10
Oak Glen 5
WINTERSVILLE - Paige Geanangel struck out 11 and delivered with a single, triple and a pair of RBI as Indian Creek (9-1) scored nine in the fifth and took advantage of 10 Oak Glen (11-10) errors.
Bethany Davis added a triple, a homer and two RBI for the Redskins while Abby Orr, Mallorie Sullivan and Alexis Monroe had an RBI each.
Makayla Crane and Logan Andrews both drove in a run for the Golden Bears. Hannah Clunk struck out eight and walked one.
Bridgeport 7, Linsly 4
BRIDGEPORT - Miranda Bowers went the distance and struck out six while Caitlyn Kroll doubled and tripled to lead Bridgeport (10-4) past Linsly (1-15).
Keri Renzler doubled for the Bulldogs.
April Knight, Taylor Wisvari-Weir and Abby Miller evenly divided six hits for the Cadets.
BEALLSVILLE - Katie Heath struck out 12 in a two-hit spot start and Karly Klug singled and drove in three runs as Shadyside (6-6) routed Beallsville.
Meagan Heagney had a single and a double while Shelby Benedetta had four singles and an RBI.
Steubenville Catholic 9
WEIRTON - Alex McComb struck out eight and also singled twice to lead Steubenville Catholic past Madonna (10-6).
Brittany Bertoia, Maddie Gulan and Maddy Metcalf all had two hits for the Crusaders.
Becca Holt, Emily Pietranton and Amanda Paul all had two hits for the Blue Dons.
Bishop Donahue 6
WEIRTON - Not only did Mariah Stevens earn a victory with five strikeouts, but she hit a pair of homers and a single to drive in four runs as Weir (4-9) took down Bishop Donahue.
Not to be outdone, Ashlyn Drizake (three singles) had five RBI and Jillian Karavanic (double, two singles) had three.
Abby Mele plated two for the Bishops and Josie Bonar drove in another. Sommer South had three hits.
Morgantown 9, Brooke 0
WELLSBURG - Brooke (8-9) found the going tough against Morgantown pitcher Morgan Purdue in a home loss.
Purdue struck out three and limited the Bruins to five hits - all singles.
West Liberty 4-7
Wheeling Jesuit 0-5
WEST LIBERTY - West Liberty swept a Mountain East Conference doubleheader from Ohio County rival Wheeling Jesuit.
Maggie Starr's two-out, two-run triple snapped a 5-5 tie and capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth as West Liberty finished off the sweep in the second game.
The Hilltoppers overcame an early 5-2 WJU lead with Nikki Mihalik blanking the Cardinals (14-27, 7-15) on one hit in the final four innings.
Starr paced the WLU attack with two singles to go along with her clutch three-bagger while Julianne Wanda added a pair of hits and drove in a run. Jenn Young and Emily Harvey each had a double and an RBI while Kalyn Hanby and Jamee Burke added RBI singles.