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West Virginia Rallies Past Ohio In OVAC All-Star Softball Game

Photo by Kim North John Marshall’s Tessa Wise fields a ball during Monday’s OVAC All-Star softball game.

WHEELING — After watching Ohio take a 4-2 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, West Virginia responded.

The Mountaineers scored six times in the top of the seventh to take an 8-4 lead and then held on for a 9-5 victory in the annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Softball game played on sun-soaked Ben’s Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex.

“This was nice. This is a great group of kids,” West Virginia head coach Sherrie Garner, of Oak Glen, said. “Not knowing much about most of them, they had a strong interest to get together and play ball. It was a lot of fun.”

Wheeling Park’s Kyla Tharp started the outburst by rapping a leadoff single to center and advancing to second on one of seven errors committed by the Buckeye State squad. She moved to third on a groundout and raced home when Patriot teammate Lauren Fox singled sharply to right. Clay-Battelle catcher Ronda Petrucci, who was injured earlier in the game while chasing a foul pop up, reached on a fielder’s choice. John Marshall’s Tessa Wise was hit by a pitch before University’s Lindsey Vorndran reached on a fielder’s choice as Fox scored.

Madonna’s Madalena Daugherty laced a single to center that knocked in a run. Brooke’s Maleaha Misch also singled in a run and another crossed on another error.

“We didn’t really have any third basemen so we had some girls playing out of position,” Ohio’s Jeremy Bleininger, of Conotton Valley, allowed. “We really had no other choices.”

With the victory, the Mountaineer State swept and diamond series, having won the baseball game last week.

West Virginia took a 2-0 lead after two at-bats and didn’t even have a hit as a pair of errors and alert baserunning paved the way.

Daugherty led the game off by reaching on an error. A wild pitch advanced her to second and a groundout moved her to third. The Blue Dons standout sprinted home when a comebacker off the bat of Linsly’s Casey Recrosio was thrown to first for the second out.

Madonna’s Michaela Battista was hit with a pitch with two outs in the second. After moving up 90 feet on a wild pitch, she scored on an error.

The Buckeyes drew even with a pair of runs in the fourth. Caldwell’s Raegan Wheeler walked with one out and Beallsville’s Harley Nalley laid down a perfect bunt. She beat the throw to first that got away as Wheeler went to third and Nalley ended up at second. Wheeler crossed the plate on a groundout by River’s Katie Rufener and Nalley circled the bases when Union Local’s Rylee Magnani blooped a single over the first baseman.

Edison’s Hannah Christoff started the Ohio sixth with a base hit to right. Bellaire’s Jayden Lowe laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown wildly to first, allowing Christoff to take third. After Lowe went to second on catcher’s indifference, Christoff sprinted home on a wild pitch, just beating the tag of John Marshall’s Tessa Wise. Lowe scored on a groundout for a 4-2.

Jenna Jaskowiak singled in a run in the seventh for Ohio.

Morgantown’s Mahalie Moser belted a solo home run to deep right-center to cap the scoring in the eighth.

Clay-Battelle’s Sydney Wilson had a double, as did Recrosio.

Shadyside’s Kylie Jo Baker had a pair of singles for Ohio. River’s Katie Lively also singled twice, while Martins Ferry’s Ava Doyle doubled.

Wise, who tied the rubber in the third, sixth and eighth, was the winning pitcher. She charted three strikeouts. Wilson recorded five Ks.

Lively took the loss.

GAME NOTES

∫ Players of the Year were presented plaques in between innings. They included Conotton Valley’s Masy Baker (Class 1A); Clay-Battelle’s Wilson (Class 2A); Martins Ferry’s Lauren McFarland (Class 3A); Oak Glen’s Mady McKay (Class 4A); and Parkersburg South’s Paige Adams (Class 5A).

∫ The co-Coaches of the Year — Conotton Valley’s Bleininger and Oak Glenás Garner — also received plaques.

∫ John Marshallás Dori Kins and Weir’s Isabella Aperfine were injured and not able to play.

∫ Ed and Linda Cihy were presented with a special award for their longtime service to the sport.

∫ Veteran John Marshall head coach Ed West was given a plaque for achieving his 300th win this season.

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