Mallory Chapman struck out 18 Cameron batters and hit a solo home run to help the Magnolia Lady Eagles win 7-3 in the Region I, Section II Sectional championship May 3 at Hydro Field in New Martinsville. Earlier, Magnolia defeated Paden City in the playoff opener.
Chapman - the heart and soul of the club - was on the hill and would keep the Dragons in check for most of the game, striking out 10 and walking none, while scattering six hits.
But, Cameron also had their ace on the hill in Linda Hall, who would counter with eight strike outs, two walks, and limiting the Eagles to five hits.
After the Lady Blue took a 1-0 lead on a Chapman solo home run in the fourth inning, Cameron capitalized on several Blue Eagle errors to knot the game at one in the fifth frame.
The Dragons scored two runs in the eighth to take the lead in the bottom half of the ninth. But, after loading the bases with nobody out, the Eagles would score but a single run to fall a little short, forcing a rubber match.
In the final game, the Lady Eagles scored twice in the first inning and Chapman held the Dragons in check until her exit in the sixth because of the WVSSAC limitation on innings pitched in a single day.
However, Magnolia secured two more runs in the bottom of the fifth that gave them a little breathing room down the stretch.
Erinn Clegg came in to relieve Chapman in the sixth and held the Dragons to no runs in her first inning of work. However, the Cameron hurler also had to exit the mound because of the inning limitation. But, it didn't go quite as well for Cameron as it did for the Lady Eagles. Magnolia would score three more times with two of them on walks to put the game out of reach for Cameron.
The Dragons would score three times in the top half of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as Clegg would strike out the last batter on a heater to earn the save.
In the two games, Ashley Moore paced the Eagles at the dish with a double and a pair of singles, while Audrey Gibb added a pair of RBI singles. Abby Durig and Kennedy Slampak each recorded singles, while Chapman drilled a home run over the centerfield fence.
After her homer in the fourth inning of the first game, Cameron appeared to intentionally walk Chapman every trip to the plate the rest of the way.
With the win, Magnolia advances to the Region 1 semi-final against Wheeling Central at 5 p.m. Thursday at the I-470 Complex in Wheeling.
Magnolia 5, Cameron 0
Mallory Chapman tossed a complete game. one-hit shutout for Magnolia and drove in a pair of runs on a home run to lead the Lady Eagles to a 5-0 win over the Cameron Lady Dragons May 2 at the MHS Hydro Field.
Both team were scoreless in the first two innings, but the Lady Eagles scored three unearned runs on two hits in the third. Chapman and Abby Durig each hit hard grounders that were mishandled, while Audrey Gibb knocked in Chapman with a solid single to right center. After moving to second on a steal, Kasey Hilbert followed with a seeing-eye single that scored both Durig and Gibb to grab a 3-0 advantage.
After throwing a perfect game thus far, Chapman sent a Cameron player to first on a free pass with one out. The Cameron base runner advanced to second on a fielder's choice, then scampered to third on a wild pitch. Chapman would walk her second and last batter of the night, but buckled down and got the third out on strikes to get out of the inning without any damage.
The Lady Eagles added to their total in the sixth when Stephanie Mullett reached on a two-base error. Chapman followed with a two-run shot over the right field fence to give the Big Blue a 5-0 lead.
The Lady Dragon's ace hurler, Linda Hall, did all she could at the mound, striking out 12 and walking three. However her defense made eight errors.
"We stranded some runners and didn't always get a timely hit," said MHS skipper Mark Batton after the game. "But we got the ones we needed and played great on defense."
Continuing, Batton noted, "The big thing was we took advantage of some opportunities, which is something we have struggled with at times this year. And when you don't take advantage of the other teams' errors, you make it easy on them so that was a big help. The girls had a lot of confidence at the plate."
Chapman paced the 14-13 Lady Eagles with a single and a two-run homer, while Hilbert knocked in a pair with a single. Gibb followed with an RBI single and Ashley Moore lined a single.
Cameron 8, Paden City 7
Taylor Cosper belted three singles, while Megan Pierce and Amber Neff added two apiece, May 1. But it wasn't enough to overcome Cameron in the second game of the West Virginia Class-A Region I, Section II playoff at Magnolia High School's Hydro Field. The 8-7 Lady Dragon win closed out the season for Paden City softball.
Cameron cranked up four runs in the second inning, but the Lady 'Cats would put three runs on the board to close the gap in the third. However, Cameron responded with two more that extended its lead to 6-3 after three full innings of play.
The Dragons pushed two more runs across the plate in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 8-3 lead. However, the never-say-die Lady Wildcats scored four runs in the top of the sixth to pull to within a run heading into the seventh.
But Paden City stranded the tying run when the Dragons made a nice play to rob Cosper of a base hit to end the game.
Cosper paced Paden City with three singles, while Megan Pierce and Amber Neff each tacked on two singles. Myah Charkawi smacked a two-run double, while Kelsey Loy and Graeson Baker each recorded a base hit at the plate.
Loy struck out six Dragon batters and walked five, while giving up only six hits. As a team, the 'Cats committed four errors, while the Lady Dragons committed six.
Magnolia 1, Paden City 0
Lady Eagle Stephanie Mullett scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning off an Abby Durig game-ending double to propel Magnolia to a 1-0 victory over Paden City in the Region I, Section II double-elimination, three-team playoff game April 30 at the Magnolia Hydro Field.
Mallory Chapman and Lady 'Cat Kelsey Loy were hooked up in a pitchers' duel in the hotly-contested sectional opener. Chapman struck out 13 and walked two, while scattering four singles. Meanwhile, Loy sat down nine Blue Eagle batters, scattered four hits, and walked six that kept both offenses in check for nine-and-one-third innings.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Loy sat down the first Eagle batter, but walked Mullett, who jolted to second on a passed ball. Durig would then reach out and hammer a Loy fastball to right field to score Mullett on a close play at home to end the sectional contest.
Myah Charkawi, Taylor Cosper, Victoria Anderson, and Kayla Hizer each singled for the Wildcats. Meanwhile, Chapman and Mullett each singled, while Durig and Kennedy Slampak each smacked doubles.