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Magnolia Sweeps, Advances

Blue Eagles roll past Knights as Tharp is perfect in Game 1

May 2, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

KIDWELL - Tori Tharp's perfect game, Mallory Chapman's three-hitter and Dallas Mullett's grand slam highlighted a huge day for Magnolia as it claimed another West Virginia Class AA sectional championship Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of Tyler Consolidated, 8-0 and 13-1.

It marked the final Region One, Section Two crown for the Blue Eagles (26-3), who drop down to Single-A next season.

''Tori pitched a tremendous game early and Mallory pitched strong, as well,'' Magnolia coach Mark Batton said. ''We had a great effort from our pitchers and our entire team.''

Article Photos

Magnolia pitcher Tori Tharp pitched a perfect game in the first game of their Class AA sectional doubleheader against Tyler Consolidated.

The Blue Eagles will travel to Hancock County a week from Thursday to face either Weir or Oak Glen in a regional semifinal. The Red Riders and Golden Bears are slated to start the Section One tournament today with a twinbill in Weirton.

Tharp, a senior, and Chapman, a sophomore, kept the Silver Knights (7-17) at bay all day. Tharp struck out 13 in her five-inning contest, while Chapman fanned eight, including three out of the first four batters, of her six-inning tilt.

''Tori pitched in (the sectional tournament) as a freshman and that just shows you the experience and maturity she has,'' Batton said.

''And Mallory does a good job, too. The two complement each other very well. It's great for Mallory having been around Tori the last two years.''

Magnolia's offense gave Tharp plenty of support in Game 1.

Leading 1-0 in the second, the Blue Eagles scored four times, twice with two outs. Mullett's RBI double and Marissa Bosley's RBI single highlighted the inning.

In the third, Abby Durig reached first on an error to start the inning and soon moved to second and third on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively. Jordan Babe singled her home a short time later to make the score 6-0. Moments later, Bosley flied out to left to score Babe to up the advantage to 7-0.

''Overall, I thought we did a great job of putting the ball in play,'' Batton said. ''That's the name of the game. If you put the ball in play good things will happen.''

Magnolia was also aided by five Tyler Consolidated errors.

''We're averaging five errors a game,'' Silver Knights coach Charlene Galluzzo said. ''I told the kids when you give teams second chances there will be a run that comes back to haunt you and that's what's happened all season to us.''

Magnolia's bats came alive to the tune of 15 hits in Game 2.

The Blue Eagles - already leading 4-1 - exploded for six runs in the third. Everyone batted at least once and all of the runs were scored with two outs.

The highlight of the inning was Mullet's bases-clearing smash over the left-field fence that slammed the door on any hopes of a Tyler Consolidated comeback.

Mullett also laced two singles and finished with five RBI.

Mullet came up with the bases loaded again in the fourth inning, but flied out. But Magnolia scored three more runs in the frame to put the game away.

The Silver Knights scored in the first on Myah Charkawi's groundout to first which brought home Alex Bubenchik.

''Offensively, they are a very good team,'' Galluzzo said of Magnolia. ''Pitching wise (Tharp and Chapman) are second to none in the state and we were just trying to battle with them.

''I take my hat off to them ... they're tough. We tried to find a way to steal (a game) but it didn't happen.''

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