W.Va. Beats Ohio In OVAC All-Stars

WHEELING – You know that in Kylie Howard’s last softball game of her career, the four-time first-team All-Stater was going to kill it.

”Yeah, I wanted to,” the John Marshall senior said afterwards.

She didn’t disappoint.

Howard finished the OVAC All-Star softball game as the only player with multiple hits, and fellow Monarch senior Amy Rotriga sat down 12 of the 18 batters she faced as West Virginia beat Ohio, 7-2, Wednesday at Lisa’s Field.

”I’m just glad West Virginia finally got the W after a few years,” Howard said.

She certainly lent a helping hand.

With one out in the first and with Kristen Lewicki leading off at second, Howard smacked one into center field to give her JM teammate time to score.

”I had two strikes on me and I was thinking (Ohio starting pitcher Victoria Mimken) is probably going to throw it outside cause she threw the last two outside, so I just tried to go with the pitch and I just ended up driving it up the middle and scoring my teammate, Wick,” Howard said. ”When she gets on, usually we score.”

Rotriga, the OVAC 5A Player of the Year, then fanned five of the next seven Buckeye batters before she came out in favor of Morgantown’s Tara Hanson in the fourth.

”Amy is a really good player for us,” Mountaineer and John Marshall coach Ed West said.

”She’s been really consistent for four years. I’m just glad she had a good game.”

Ohio then started to finally see some offensive production in the fifth.

After Edison’s Molly McCoy began the inning with a hit into right field and Indian Creek’s Paige DeMattio reached on a bunt, Shenandoah’s Leah Hill then hit into a 6-3 to give McCoy enough time to score and tie the game at 1-1.

DeMattio then scored on a wild pitch to give the Buckeye’s their first lead of the game.

It didn’t last long, however.

With two outs and one on in the sixth, Wheeling Park’s Kristen Slater doubled to center field to score Weir’s Meikka Buffo to tie the game, then John Marshall’s Morgan Watson tripled to score Slater as the Mountaineers began to break the game open.

Watson then scored on wild pitch to give West Virginia a 4-2 lead to end the inning.

The Mountaineers picked up another run in the seventh off a sac fly by Wheeling Central’s Vanessa Saseen and scored twice in the eighth courtesy of two wild pitches.

Rotriga, who re-entered the game in the eighth, struckout the last two batters to seal the win the Mountain State.

”I was just working hard this past week to just come out here and throw the game I know how to throw,” Rotriga, a Wheeling Jesuit recruit, said.

”It’s just an honor to be playing in this game. It’s going to be really sad, the last time waking up with my uniform on. I’m really going to miss everyone. We came out with a win and that’s the way we wanted to end it.”

Howard echoed her teammate’s thoughts and added: ”I’m really going to miss it. I hope I don’t regret not playing in college, but I think I did pretty good job. John Marshall left a good impact the last four years me and my teammates had been there. I’m really going to miss my teammates a lot.”

Rotriga along with Mimken, Buckeye Local’s Lauren Swiger, Harrison Central’s Katie Ellzy, Steubenville Central’s Taylor Clark and St. John’s Hannah Abasalom were all honored with places during the course of the game as being the OVAC Player of the Year in their respective classes.

Ohio and Fort Frye coach Barbara Sleek was also honored as being the OVAC softball coach of the year.