Dierkes Aids Shadyside

WHEELING – Powerful pitching. Clutch hitting. Dynamic defensive plays.

Thursday’s OVAC Class 2A softball semifinal had it all.

When the dust settled on Lisa’s Field at the J.B. Chambers Youth Sports Complex, it was Shadyside that was smiling.

Sarah Dierkes doubled home Lindsey Dunn with two out in the seventh and Shadyside topped River, 1-0, in an edge-of-your-seat thriller between two Ohio rivals. The Pilots won the teams’ earlier meeting in Sardis.

”It was pretty nerve-racking, I’m not gonna lie,” Dierkes said of her game-winning at-bat. ”I just wanted to do anything possible.”

What she did was send the Tigers into Saturday’s final for a chance at the program’s first conference crown in 20 years. Wheeling Central will be the opponent.

”We just came ready to play,” Dierkes added. ”We really wanted it. (The OVAC title) is really something we’ve wanted the past few years.”

Now, the Tigers will have a chance at attaining it. Standing in their way is a Wheeling Central program that has won 11 OVAC titles, second-most all-time.

”We saw them and they’re a great team,” Shadyside coach Jillian Ongley said. ”We’ll have to prepare for them and if we play like we can play, we’ll be in it.”

The game featured a pair of commanding hurlers – River’s Monica Curtis and Shadyside’s Megan Heagney. During the first four innings each were dominant.