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MHS Softball Team Ends Season

By Staff | May 26, 2010

Magnolia senior first baseman Kelsi Heasley reaches out to grab a throw to nail a Ritchie County Lady Rebel to end the second inning. Magnolia lost 4-0 in eight innings to end their season with a 24-8 record. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

The Magnolia Blue Eagle Softball Team allowed four runs in the eighth inning and Ritchie County pitcher Ashley Knight closed the book on the 2010 Lady Eagle campaign with a two-hit, eight inning 4-0 shutout in the Region One Championship game, May 20 in New Martinsville.

Magnolia hurler Tori Tharp kept the Lady Rebels scoreless on three hits in the first seven innings. Tharp had retired nine consecutive batters

when the Lady Rebels began their eight-inning rally.

The Eagles got the first Rebel batter out. But, after a seeing-eye single and a slow roller that the Rebel lead off batter beat out, the Rebels were in business. However, Lady Eagle Dallas Mullett got the second out of the inning when she forced the girl out at third on a nice fielder’s choice opportunity.

The next batter hit a rope to left field, but Tharp cut off the throw and the runner from second scored the game’s first run. The next Ritchie batter took advantage of the situation and drilled a three-run homer to seal the 4-0 victory.

The Magnolia Blue Eagles take a minute to strategize on how best to make something happen on offense. (Photo by Bruce Crawford)

In the home half of the eighth, the Eagles’ Abbey Horner led off with a single, but was stranded by two strike outs. For the game, the Ritchie pitcher gave up singles to Andrea Lockhart and Horner. She struck out 16 Eagle batters and walked one in eight innings, while Tharp struck out eight and walked one.

Ritchie had runners in scoring position a few times, but Tharp & Co. put out the fire each time. “I’m proud as can be of my girls,” said Coach Mark Batton. “We played great defense and Tori pitched very well. What more can you ask?”

Despite being in the Regional finale in each of the last seven seasons, the Eagles finish the year with a 24-8 season. They will lose senior starters Andrea Lockhart, Alexajo Hanna and Kelsi Heasley.

However, the bulk of the lineup will return, including lead pitcher Tharp, who has 414 strike outs in two seasons and has won 26 games, 18 by shutout.