The Magnolia Softball Invitational Tournament April 13-14 was rain shortened in the game before the championship at Hydro Fields with John Marshall leading Morgantown 4-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth with Morgantown coming to bat.
That game will be completed at Glen Dale on Thursday, April 19, during a previously-scheduled meeting between the two schools. No championship playoff will be held for this year's event.
In the April 13 opening game of the tournament, the Host Lady Blue Eagles took down perennial OVAC power Bellaire St. John 3-2 in nine innings, keyed by sophomore Mallory Chapman's solo home run in the top of the ninth.
The 2012 Magnolia Lady Eagle Softball Team poses for this photo following the game against Martins Ferry, April 16. (Photo by Carie Dawson)
In the top of the first, senior Marissa Bosley got things started with a single, followed by a Dallas Mullet walk. Chapman then hit a blooper to center field that fell down and Bosley was put out going to third because of a delayed start from second to see if the fly ball would be caught.
The next two batters struck out and Magnolia's threat went away. In the bottom half of the frame, St. John's lead off batter walked.
After a Bellaire strikeout, the Irish hit a ground ball to freshman Abby Durig, who fired it to Mullett at second base for the out.
The next batter hit a grounder to third baseman Jordan Babe, who threw it to Chapman at first for the final out of the inning with the score 0-0 after one.
Babe hit a deep fly ball to center field to start the next inning. However, the centerfielder had it played perfectly and made the catch. Durig then walked but was stranded as the next two Eagles got out to end the inning.
The bottom of the second frame started with a catcher's interference call. Then, with one out, a Magnolia error put Bellaire runners on first and second. Tharp then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Magnolia went down in order in the top of the third and Tharp struck out the side in the bottom of the third. She walked to start the inning, then was pinch-run by Kennedy Slampak. After a strike out, Babe singled up the middle to put runners at first and second.
Durig then hit a blooper into short centerfield and Slampak was tagged out as she advanced to third base. Dawson struck out to end the inning and Tharp sat down the order in the bottom of the fourth.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Bosley and Mullett singled. Bosley scored when Mullett stole second and the shortstop crept up behind the pitcher in case Bosley went home. However, the throw got away from the shortstop and Bosley scored.
Chapman flew out to the shortstop for the second out of the inning, whereupon Tharp smacked a double to score Mullet. Blake popped out to second base to end the inning as the Eagles scored two runs to go up 2-0 after four-and-a-half innings of play.
Tharp retired the first two Irish batters to start the fourth frame, but Bellaire got a player aboard on an error. Two walks loaded the bases when Bellaire's Rosa Young hit a single that scored two and tied the game 2-2. The next batter struck out to end the inning.
Babe hit a hard line drive in the next frame, but the St. John shortstop made a great play on it for the first out in the sixth.
Durig would walk, but, she would be left standing when Dawson and Audrey Gibb both flew out to end the inning.
Now in the bottom of the sixth with one out, St. John got a single. Then, after Tharp struck out the next batter, the Irish got another single that was short-lived. The next batter flew out to Dawson at left field to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Bosley walked. Then, with two outs, Tharp singled to put runners at first and second. Blake struck out to end the threat and the Irish went down in order to force extra innings with a 2-2 ballgame.
The Eagles threatened once again in the top of the eighth. With one out, Durig smacked a single and Dawson drew a walk. Then, with two outs, Bosley also drew a walk However, Mullet flew out to center field and the threat was over. In the bottom of the eighth, Tharp struck out the side.
Chapman smacked a 1-1 pitch over the centerfield fence and put the Eagles up 3-2. Tharp then flew out and Blake was hit by a pitch. Then came the scariest part of the game.
Babe fouled a pitch that came back and hit the catcher's mask. The St. John's catcher, Rosa Young, was transported by ambulance to Wetzel County Hospital but was later released. When the at-bat resumed, Babe hit a grounder to second where Blake was tagged out and Babe was put out at first for a 4-3 double play.
However, the damage had been done. With a Chapman long ball, the Eagles went up 3-2. In the bottom of the ninth, Magnolia shut the door on St. John as they went down in order and the Eagles hung on for a 4-3 decision.
Hitting for the Eagles were Chapman with a homer, single, and RBI;
Tharp doubled and was walked twice. She also claimed an RBI. Bosley singled three times and was walked once, while Mullett singled and was walked.
Blake was hit by a pitch and Babe got a single. Durig singled twice and walked once. While Dawson reached on an error by the catcher.
Overall, the Eagles scored three runs on 11 hits and two errors, while the Irish scored two runs on four hits and no errors.
Tharp got the win from the mound, striking out 19 total, which included 10 in a row at one point.
Point Pleasant 1
The Point Pleasant Big Blacks entered the bottom of the sixth inning leading the host Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles 1-0. However, they committed four errors in the inning which lead to three runs and the Eagles held Point scoreless the rest of the way to get the win 3-1 on a rain-soaked Hydro field April 14.
The Big Blacks' lead-off batter walked to start the game. Then, with one out, drew another walk. But, Chapman, who got the start on the mound, struck out the next two batters to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning the Eagles went down in order.
In the next frame, Point got a lead-off single, then, with one out, the runner advanced on a fielder's choice and scored when the next batter up reached on an error.
The next Point batter popped out to the pitcher, Chapman, to end the inning. Babe singled with two outs but was stranded when Durig flew out to the second baseman.
Point got a runner on via error, but she was put out going to second. The final out of the inning came when a grounder was hit to Durig, who fired it over to Tharp at first base. In the bottom of the third, Dawson struck out to start the inning and Megan Miller flew out to right field. Bosley then walked and Mullett struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth, The Black went down in order. Chapman walked to start the Magnolia at-bats, then stole second and advanced to third on a Blake grounder. However, Babe grounded out to second to end the inning, leaving Chapman stranded at third.
The lead Point batter popped out to Durig to start the fifth inning. Then the next batter grounded to Babe at third base, who then fired the ball to first for the inning's second out. The next Point batter reached on an error. Chapman fielded a ground ball and threw it to Tharp at first for the last out in the frame.
Magnolia went down in order in the next inning and Point did the same to move the game to the bottom of the sixth. That's when the wheels fell off the Point Pleasant wagon, keyed by four errors that led to three Blue Eagle runs, giving them a 3-1 advantage.
The game ended in the final frame when Point went down in order to clinch a victory for Magnolia on two hits and fours errors.