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Prep softball: Hurricane tops Wheeling Park in tourney opener

VIENNA, W.Va. -- Hurricane freshman Amber Null singled past Wheeling Park shortstop Kristen Slater with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday, scoring junior Addie Fullen and giving the Redskins a 2-1 win in the Class AAA softball State Tournament.

The Redskins (31-6) advance to play Jefferson, which scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Ripley, 3-2, Wednesday.

First pitch is scheduled for approximately 6:30 p.m. today.

Park (20-6) will play Ripley in an elimination contest at 4:30 p.m.

"I just told them we want to find a way to win. I didn't feel like we played real well. We didn't get a couple bunts down that could have cost us," Hurricane Coach Josh Caldwell said. "Courtney pitched real well, and we got the hits and the contact that we needed."

It was the first State Tournament win in Hurricane High School history.

Rogers, the Kanawha Valley Player of the Year, threw a one-hitter and did not give up an earned run. The Patriots tied the score in the top of the seventh with two outs, when Hurricane shortstop Cassi Sargent misplayed a ground ball hit by Park No. 8 hitter Kelly Albers, allowing courtesy runner Kendra Johnson to score.

Rogers escaped the inning without further damage, and the Hurricane offense got started as soon as Fullen led off the inning with a single to right field.

Sophomore Emily Davis followed with a walk, and after Park pitcher Carly Greer got freshman Maddie Hebb to look at a third strike, Null took a 1-1 pitch and ripped it just behind Slater, who had broken for second to cover upon contact.

Hurricane's first run came in the fourth inning, when senior Linzie Reynolds lifted a high fly into right-center field. Park center fielder Kaleigh Sidon cut in front of Albers to field the fly, but couldn't hang on. Sargent scored on the error, and until the seventh it looked like Rogers would make the lone run stand as the game-winner. She struck out four, including pinch hitter Colleen Tracy, an out which closed the game.


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