Lady Eagles Fall In Regional Finale
In the West Virginia Class-AA Region I Softball Championship May 19 at Ritchie County High School, the season came to an end for the Magnolia Lady Eagles when the Lady Rebels took advantage of four Magnolia miscues and scored a pair of unearned runs to take home the bacon, 2-0. It was Ritchie’s second consecutive Region I Softball Championship.
Magnolia had its best chance to make some noise in the fourth. With one out, Abbey Horner drilled a single and stole second. Hurler Tori Tharp walked, but both she and Horner were left stranded.
In the fourth frame, the wheels fell off for the Lady Eagles when the Rebels’ lead-off batter reached on an error. After an infield single, the Rebels loaded the bases on the second Eagle miscue of the frame. Ritchie closed the inning with 1-0 lead on a slow roller to short.
Ritchie started the sixth inning with a single and turned it into a triple. The Lady Rebs would touch home for a 2-0 lead when a ball skipped through the Magnolia shortstop’s legs. Lady Eagle Dallas Mullett drew a one-out walk, but was left stranded. Magnolia made things interesting in the seventh. Tharp led off with a walk, and, after two outs, Jordan Babe drilled a shot to right pushing Tharp to third. Babe made her way to second, putting two runners in scoring position.
However, the Rebel hurler — who had already struck out 15 Eagle batters — induced the Blue Eagles into a harmless pop-out to end the threat and punch Ritchie’s ticket to the dance May 25 in Parkersburg.
Tharp went the distance for Magnolia, scattering six hits and yielding two unearned runs, while striking out seven and walking three.
The Eagles lose only Horner and Gabby Hostetler to graduation and will have the entire infield back, including Tharp on the hill and Emily Blake and Cassidi Wells in the outfield.