The Weir Lady Red Riders scored five runs in the top of the first. But the Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles put nine runs on the board in the bottom of the third and went on to win 11-7 the Class-AA Region I semifinal game on Thursday, May 10, at Weir.
The Riders got five runs on two hits and two errors in the top of the first. In the bottom half, Dallas Mullet singled with one out and Tori Tharp singled with two outs. Emily Blake smacked a single to score Mullett, but that was all the damage the Eagles were able to do. Abby Durig flew out to third to end the inning with Weir up 5-1.
The Riders got a single with one out in the top of the second, but Tharp, who got the start on the mound, buckled down and struck out the next two batters to end the inning. The Eagles went down in order in the bottom of the second.
The lead-off batter for Weir in the top of the third reached on an error. The next batter up flew out to Durig at second and the third batter reached on an error to put runners at the corners with one out.
Tharp sat down the next Weir batter and the last batter flew out to Cassidi Wells in left field to end the inning.
Then came the big inning for the Lady Eagles when they scored nine runs on eight hits and one Red Rider error to take a 10-5 lead after three innings of play.
In the top of the fourth, the Riders went down in order and the Lady Eagles did the same in the bottom half.
The Riders threatened in the top of the fifth. With one out, they loaded on two singles and an error. But, just like they have done so many times this year, Tharp & Co. wiggled their way out of the jam. Tharp struck out the next batter for the second out and Emily Blake caught a fly ball in center field to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Marissa Bosley singled with two outs but was stranded as Mullett then flew out to the shortstop to end the inning with Magnolia up 10-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Riders got a walk and a single with two outs and and both came around to score on a double by the next batter up. The final out of the inning came when Blake caught a fly ball in center field, but the Riders did manage to cut the Eagles' lead to 10-7.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Tharp walked and was replaced by a pinch runner, Stephanie Mullet. An Emily Blake ground out to first advanced Stephanie Mullet to second and Durig smacked a single that scored Mullet.
Jordan Babe then walked and put runners at first and second with two outs when Mackenzie Dawson was hit by a pitch to load the basses. The Home Team was on the verge on getting some insurance runs, but freshman Audrey Gibb struck out to end the inning.
The Riders got a single with one out in the top of the seventh, but the next batter flew out to Mallory Chapman at first. The final out of the game was recorded when Tharp fielded a ground ball and threw it to Chapman to end the game.
Hitting for Magnolia were Dallas Mullett, who singled, doubled, was walked once, drove in a run, and scored three times herself. Bosley singled, doubled, and plated two while touching the home plate twice herself. Chapman smacked two singles for two RBI's and scored once and Tharp doubled and was walked.
Blake singled twice and drove in two runs and crossed the plate once herself. Durig reached on an error, singled, and got two RBI's, in addition to coming home herself. Jordan Babe doubled in the big third inning, got a pass, and two RBI's. Dawson singled, was hit by a pitch, and scored once, while Megan Miller was walked, hit by a pitch, and scored one run.
With the win, the Lady Eagles improved to 28-3 on the season and advanced to their sixth straight regional finale under coaches Mark Batton and Danny Anderson.
They will take on the defending region and state champs, the Ritchie County Lady Rebels, on Thursday, May 17, at Hydro Field in New Martinsville.
The winner there will go to the Dance at Jackson Park in Vienna next week.