Blue Eagles Win Season Opener, 5-3
The Magnolia Blue Eagle softball team used strong pitching and timely hitting to come from behind to win 5-3 in their season opener against St. Marys March 18 in New Martinsville.
St. Marys first batter ripped a two-strike ground-rule double to lead off the game and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. She then scored the game’s first run on a Blue Eagle error to grab the lead in the top of the first frame.
The Eagles’ Abbey Horner and Alexajo Hanna drilled back-to-back singles in the home half, but couldn’t score, as Horner was gunned down on a nice throw from the outfield and Hanna was left on base without denting the scoreboard.
St. Marys pushed two more runs across the plate for a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, thanks to another Blue Eagle miscue and a two-out double. However, Magnolia got something going in the bottom half of the fourth. Tori Tharp helped herself out at the plate with a see-eye single to open the inning.
Andrea Lockhart worked a walk and Gabby Hostetler singled to load the bases. Magnolia shortstop Dallas Mullett then walked to plate the Eagles’ first run of the game, Hanna ripped a bases-loaded double to clear the bases and Marissa Bosley knocked in the final Blue Eagle tally with a double.
Tharp was the winning pitcher. She struck out 13, while not walking a batter. Hanna and Horner each had multiple hits, while Mullett, Bosley, Hostetler, Tharp, and Emily Blake each added hits.
Assistant Coach Danny Anderson was the man in charge for Magnolia, while Head Coach Mark Batton was sitting out the first of three games of a suspension for being ejected in the Regional final last season. MHS Principal Kathi Schmalz made her debut as the assistant coach.
“We made some mental mistakes and we made one that cost us a couple runs that put us in the hole,” said Anderson. “But, we put the ball into play and started to run the bases. We got a couple big hits in the fourth to get us going. We have told the girls that good things happen if you can put the ball into play and they did for us tonight.”