Park Tops Big Reds
VIENNA – A half-an-hour Saturday, and the softball season was over for Parkersburg High.
The Big Reds returned to Jackson Park Saturday to finish their Class AAA Region I semifinal game against Wheeling Park that was suspended by rain in the top of the fifth inning Friday with the Patriots leading 3-1.
After PHS had pulled within 3-2 on Cassidy Newbrough’s RBI double in the sixth, Park’s Colleen Tracy singled in two runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to give the Patriots (16-6) a 5-2 win that ended the Big Reds’ season.
PHS skipper Ron Perdue went with Kelsey Goots on the mound Saturday in place of Newbrough, Friday’s starter who pitched until the game was halted for the second – and final – time with one out in the top of the fifth.
Goots retired five straight Patriot batters before running into trouble in the seventh after the Big Reds (19-13) had cut their deficit to 3-2 in the sixth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Brittany Allen and Newbrough.
In the seventh, after a leadoff double by winning pitcher Carly Greer, a one-out single by Katarina Donzella moved Greer to third and ground-ball out at first put Donzella at second set the stage for Tracy’s big hit of the game. She poped single down the right-field line that dropped in, despite a valiant charging-in diving effort by right fielder Taylor Beckley to catch the ball, as both runners scored.
However, Kaleigh Westfall opened the bottom of the seventh by beating out a bunt for an infield single, but three straight outs stopped the Big Reds’ Cinderella season that saw them win their first sectional title.
“We put together a season that we never had before until this year, so we’re proud of that,” Perdue said. “But Park was the state-runnerup last year; they’re a good program.”
Perdue stressed “our girls could walk out of here with their heads up because they deserved to be here. We played up to the level of our competition, but just fell a little short.
“We accomplished a lot this year though, and now the girls have gotten a taste of what having some success is like. So we take a lot of positive things from this season into next year.”