Wheeling Central took advantage of two Magnolia errors by scoring two runs and held on for a 2-1 victory in the Class-A Region I Section II semifinals at 1-470 Complex May 9.
Magnolia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Abby Durig doubled and sprinted home on a Ashley Moore single. However, the Maroon Knights scored two-unearned runs in the home half. After a single to open the inning, the Knights laid down a bunt that no Eagle player fielded, which sent the base runner to third and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 1-1.
One out later, Central picked up run number two on a fielder's choice that proved to be the game-winner,
"That's at least seven or eight games that we have lost by one run," said Magnolia Head Softball Coach Mark Batton. "That's tough, It's tough on the girls. My heart's broken for the girls because they've come a long way. We started with a real young team, and they've done everything we've asked of them. They've worked hard and we're just as proud as can be of them for that."
Mallory Chapman took the loss from the hill. She limited the high-powered Central team to six hits, while striking out three and walking one in going the distance.
"Mallory has been big for us this year," added Batton. "What a job she has done for us this year. She's just a tremendous athlete. She was the only starter back for us, so she kinda put this team on her shoulders and did a great job of handling it."
The loss dropped the Eagles to 15-15, while Central improved to 19-8. Moore paced the Lady Eagles with a pair of singles, while knocking in their only run. Durig doubled and Kennedy Slampak singled for all the Blue Eagle hits.
The Eagles lose two seniors to graduation in Slampak and Laken Cecil, but will return the rest of their team, including Chapman, Durig and Moore.