HURRICANE, W.Va. -- Kyla Shull's last trip to Hurricane resulted in a short appearance in the pitching circle and a no decision in what became a 15-13 Cabell Midland loss on April 10.
Shull didn't throw seven innings Wednesday night in the Mountain State Athletic Conference softball championship game between the rival teams, but she didn't need to, either. Midland scored eight runs in a two-out rally during the first inning, and Shull kept the ordinarily potent Redskins lineup at bay in a 12-2, five-inning win to give the Knights the league title.
"Greg's been working with me on my movement since then, and I guess that's helped a lot," Shull said, referring to Knights assistant coach Greg Lunsford. "I didn't let them get to me and I kept my head in the game. I just did that and played my own game."
Hurricane (24-5) entered the game as the defending MSAC champion and averaging 10.1 runs per game this season. The Redskins were held to four hits, including a two-run home run by sophomore Courtney Rogers that provided the hosts with their only runs.
A junior, Shull benefited from a big early lead that allowed her to begin the game with an added dose of confidence.
After retiring the first two batters of the game, Rogers watched as 10 consecutive Midland hitters got hits, something Midland (24-4) Coach Jeanne Lunsford said she had never seen from one of her teams.
"They had the best energy tonight that we've had all year," Lunsford said. "That energy before the game just flew over to them early on."
Jordan Colliflower started the rally by reaching on a bang-bang play at first that saw Hurricane Coach Josh Caldwell already out of the Redskins' dugout to greet his team after what would have been a quick inning.
It would be a while before Caldwell would actually be able to welcome his club off the field.