CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Before the beginning of the season, West Virginia State softball Coach Bob Allen indicated he had two potential pitcher of the year candidates in seniors and 2012 All-West Virginia Conference hurlers Kelsey Lorraine and Sara Pelegreen.
Little did Allen know, though, that in the winner-take-all WVC tournament championship game against Fairmont State on Saturday afternoon that a freshman pitcher would be on the mound in the biggest game of the season.
Anna Eggleston pitched a complete-game gem, allowing just one unearned run while scattering five hits, in guiding State (45-13) to a 3-1 victory over the Falcons in Vienna to claim the WVC title, earning most valuable player honors in the process.
The Yellow Jackets claimed the league's final championship. Nine of the WVC schools will join three others to form the Mountain East Conference, beginning play in 2013. The league title earns State at berth in the regional tournament.
"Our goal was to win the last conference championship," Allen said. "It's fantastic. Nobody can take it away from us. We got beat by four points for the regular season championship (to Fairmont St). These kids were just so motivated."
Allen was proud of Eggleston coming up big the way she did in a pressure-filled situation.
"Our freshman, Anna, came up big all tournament," Allen said. "If anyone deserved MVP, it was her. We felt it was better to go with Anna and it turned out to be a good decision."
Eggleston couldn't have imagined things would have turned out the way they did for her, winning tournament MVP.
"It never even crossed my mind," Eggleston said. "I just knew we needed to win, we were going to win, that's it. I didn't even think that could be a possibility. It was just a great feeling."