"If you see them out in the field they're trying to encourage their teammates, they're coaching them. They're just outstanding players."
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HURRICANE'S come-from-behind win over Class AAA No. 4 Lincoln County (24-9) in the Region 4, Section 3 championship game last Thursday not only gave Coach Josh Caldwell his first sectional title, but is the first in school history.
The third-ranked Redskins (28-6) have already set the new standard for single-season wins in school history. Life among the state's traditional power center for prep softball has not always been easy, however. Hurricane's first 20-win season came in 2010, Caldwell's second year as coach.
Addie Fullen's two-run, two-out homer in the sixth inning tied the game at 5-5. Freshman first baseman Maddie Hebb led off the seventh with a triple as part of a 4-for-4 showing at the plate, and sophomore Courtney Rogers hit her Kanawha Valley-leading 10th homer as part of an eight-run inning that put the game out of reach.
As a prize for their first sectional championship win, the Redskins get rival and second-ranked Cabell Midland (27-5) in the Region 4 semifinals at Hurricane on Thursday.
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AN UNEARNED RUN in extra innings kept Riverside from the Class AAA Region 3, Section 4 championship Saturday. It also kept the Warriors from breaking a school record.
Ripley's Myranda Murphy scored the winning run of Saturday's sectional championship on an error in the bottom of the eighth inning in Ripley. The 10th-ranked Vikings (16-6) visit unranked South Charleston (19-9) for a Region 3 semifinal Thursday. SC has beaten Ripley twice in as many meetings this season.
The tough-luck loss ended Riverside's season with a 20-16 record. That ties the 2006 team led by Lori Boswell and KaraBeth Ullom for the school's most wins in a single season. The 2006 Warriors finished 20-9.
Riverside four-year starting pitcher Sara Winter took the loss, wrapping up a successful career in which the program averaged 16.8 wins per year.
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ALL REGIONAL semifinals are scheduled for Thursday. Among other games including Kanawha Valley teams is Sissonville's third meeting of the season with rival and Class AA No. 2 Herbert Hoover (23-3). The Indians (15-12) came within one run of the Huskies in a pair of regular-season losses.
Also, two-time defending Class A state champion and top-ranked Buffalo (29-4) visits unranked Wahama (20-11) in a Region 4 semifinal. In Class A's Region 3, No. 4 Sherman (24-7) plays host to No. 8 Man (17-5).
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.